Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE), the Spanish state-owned lottery operator, has announced that it will suspend ticket sales countrywide during the COVID-19 lockdown.
These restrictions apply to both online and land-based purchases.
Spain to be shut down, for the most part
SELAE’s decision comes after the Spanish government announced measures to battle the coronavirus outbreak. This includes a national lockdown, with authorities using drones to monitor the movement of Spaniards.
From Sunday onwards, all lottery sales will be suspended. On top of this, payments for prizes lower than €2,000 (£1,816) will also be halted. Draws from 16th March onwards will also be postponed until the crisis has passed.
SELAE did, however, say that tickets bought for postponed draws will be valid for whenever these are rearranged.
Banks will remain open during the lockdown, so players who win more than €2,000 could pick up their winnings. But SELAE has advised against this, while also announcing that it will extend deadlines for these individuals to collect their money.
The impact of coronavirus on the sports betting industry
Sports betting in particular is feeling the wrath of COVID-19, with both GVC Holdings and Flutter Entertainment projecting the possibility of shrinking revenue as a result.
Sports across the globe is also in chaos, with Euro 2020 being delayed by a year along with multiple other postponements.
COVID-19 hits Spain hard
Spain is Europe’s worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic, after Italy. A state of national emergency was declared last week. Schools and public spaces are both closed.
As of yesterday, 9,191 cases had been confirmed. From that figure, 309 deaths could be traced back to the disease.
Sports in the country had already been impacted prior to the lockdown, with La Liga announcing the postponement for multiple rounds of fixtures.
To deal with the crisis, private hospitals and healthcare workers will become nationalised.
Fines are being issued to those who disobey authorities, with 200 being handed out in Madrid alone on Sunday.