Numerous experiences define the history of Ireland lottery practice. Some historical experts even claim that lottery playing in Ireland began even before Christianity came about in the country. Archaeologists state that gambling on horse racing was a pastime hobby even during the Roman era.
That is dated back to the early 3rd century Ireland. However, modern gambling and lottery playing is believed to have strongly begun in the 16th century. This is back when Ireland became a colony of England. English property owners mainly governed these games.
There was no regulation on gambling and lottery, which in turn gave rise to the gambling culture. After the War of Independence, the Irish Free State was established in 1922. This free government’s first Act was regulating the gambling industry. Licensing of the local gaming operators was made official in 1926.
There are three key phases best define the Irish Lottery history: 1930, 1987, and the current period. Each of these phases has played a key role in the evolution of the Irish lottery. Throughout the 1930s phase, the Ireland Republic struggled with several problems, including the civil war and the great depression.
The government introduced Sweepstakes as a means to fund the construction of hospitals. The Irish referred to them as Irish hospital sweepstakes. The Irish government went on to form a private trust to operate the lottery. Participants of the Sweepstake had a unique way of playing. They pulled tickets from a closed barrel.
These tickets would have numbers of racing horses. The participant who pulled a ticket with the winning horse would bag the overall prize. However, because of the nature of the operation, the lottery tickets attracted black markets. That led to the Ireland government abolishing the sweepstakes in 1987.
Following the abolishment of the sweepstakes, the government created a controlled Irish Lotto. The Irish lottery was created under the National Lottery Act of 1986. This country's lotto helped in marshaling funds for good causes like arts, health, and sports. The initial lotto game used a 6/36 structure. The player that matched all six numbers from the lottery machine would be awarded the jackpot.
Players who managed to match 4 or 5 correct numbers were awarded small amounts from the jackpot. However, in the early 90s, a syndicate emerged. It aimed to buy lottery tickets in bulk to increase the probability of winning the jackpot. Following the syndicate's success, the government sought to limit the number of tickets an individual could purchase. The government, however, failed.