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Police to investigate 'tarnished' Christmas lottery sales

The Gibraltar Government is considering changes to next year’s Christmas Lottery which will include an increase in the number of tickets available for sale and in the prize money.

This follows complaints on social media and the general public after all lottery tickets for this year’s Christmas Draw were sold out in some places in less than an hour when the ‘low’ numbers were put on sale on Wednesday of this week.

The ‘high’ were already sold out when they were put on sale several weeks ago.

With images posted on line of tickets being sold in Spain at a higher or double the prize, the Government spokesman said, they had taken note of such reports “of bulk sales of Gibraltar Government Lottery tickets to individuals who are now advertising the resale of these tickets at higher than face value prices”.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of tickets being bought in batches of 50 and more.

In answer to Chronicle questions the Government said yesterday it considers that these actions constitute offences contrary to Section 19 of the Government Lotteries Regulations 2016 and is therefore putting the matter in the hands of the police.

Albert Isola, Minister with Responsibility for Gaming, is also considering the possibility of suspending agents or sub-agents who may have been involved in the aiding and abetting of these offences.

Mr Isola said the tradition of the Christmas Lottery has long been enjoyed by Gibraltarian families.

“We are most concerned that the reputation of the Lottery has been tarnished by these recent actions and, as a Government, we are determined that there should be no repetition of these offences in the future,” he emphasised.

The Government spokesman said the draw on Tuesday 9 January will feature an increased first prize of £250,000 with a further 5000 tickets available for sale.

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