Illegal Spanish Lottery Operator Escapes Authorities For Decades

May 15, 2024
Back
Last week, when Spain issued its biannual list of fines for infractions, it was hard to miss that an operator called ONDEE had been slapped with an eye-watering €35m penalty.
Body

Last week, when Spain issued its biannual list of fines for infractions, it was hard to miss that an operator called ONDEE had been slapped with an eye-watering €35m penalty.

ONDEE, which stands for the National Organization of Spanish and European Disabled People, has a long history of selling lottery tickets. It does not have a licence for these lotteries, nor has it ever for the 30 odd years of its operation. 

Its latest run-in with the Spanish government sees it issued with a fine of €35m for operating an unlicensed lottery and banned from all gambling activities for four years.

The organisation also allegedly designs its tickets to look similar to Juegos ONCE, a lottery which benefits the blind in Spain and is legitimate. Its prize draws also happen at the same time as ONCE’s.

The ministry said that the tickets “clearly resemble ONCE’s gaming products, not only in terms of their design, but also because they include allusions to the social work linked to disability, typical of ONCE”.

ONDEE is the rebrand of the Organization for the Promotion of the Disabled (OID), which has previously been suspended for money owed to the treasury for similar violations. All fines owed remain unpaid, believed to total around €86m.

According to an investigation last year by local news outlet La Sexta, ONDEE is the work of one family, which filters the money it collects through both local and foreign companies. 

The deputy general director of ONCE said: "We have filed many complaints, they use an operation in which the money does not go through the association, but rather they camouflage it." 

The latest raid on ONDEE happened in March in Valencia, when police seized more than 12,000 tickets from an illegal distribution point for smaller sellers. 

This time around, complaints filed with the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) included prize money that had not been paid out.  

ONDEE has not commented on the matter. According to its site, which lists an address in Toledo, it is “a non-profit NGO that fights for the labour integration of people with some type of disability or long-term unemployed”.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.