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Achill Rovers soccer pools license questioned by judge

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Achill Rovers’ soccer-pools license questioned by judge


A district court judge has questioned if a soccer club can legally run a pools fundraiser based on English and Scottish soccer matches.
Judge Mary Devins made the comments at Achill District Court last Thursday where Achill Rovers Football Club applied for a license to run a pools fundraiser. The court was told that the license would co-exist with their current weekly club lotto.
Seán Molloy, on behalf of Achill Rovers, told the court that the club’s current weekly lotto has been running for 19 years and brought in between €10,000 and €12,000 per annum,  yielding €15,000 a year in the good times. He said the club had costs of €20,000 per annum, and that the new pools was to help to recoup that shortfall.
His solicitor, Gareth Burke, told Judge Devins that the proposal for these pools was that contestants would pick results from seven games in the English Premier League and Scottish Premier League every weekend. If a person predicted the seven results they would be entitled to all or a share of half of the takings. If there was no full set of correct predictions, the prize would roll over.
Mr Molloy added that the club had agreed a programme with the national schools in Achill to put a coach into the schools next year and that increased fundraising from the pools would also help to support this.
Judge Devins said she was unsure if the fixtures of the English and Scottish leagues could be used like this. She added that she didn’t feel it was appropriate for a club to be allowed to run this type of fundraiser concurrently with their club lotto. She added she was unsure if the provisions of the Lottery and Gaming Act provided for such a license.
She concluded by saying she would prefer if both licenses were not in existence at once and adjourned the matter to September 13 for Mr Walsh to inquire as to the legal questions of running a pools fundraiser. The club lotto is also up for renewal on that date.