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The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the UK has recommended changes in the country’s lottery system. The PAC in its latest report has pointed out that lottery profits allocated to good causes are failing. The committee blamed Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery, for its shortcomings.
The report showed that payments made to the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) have totalled £37 billion since its creation. However, in the 2016–2017 period, the money available decreased 15 per cent as ticket sales fell 9 per cent.
PAC said that the problem is that Camelot experienced a 122 per cent profit increase between 2010 and the end of 2017, but the returns for good causes to the NLDF only increased two per cent during that period. The Committee blamed the numbers on the fact that fewer people are buying draw-based games, and the introduction of a 59-ball lottery that sentenced a decrease in overall sales.
The PAC said that the 2012 renegotiation with Camelot was too favourable for the company and that “it isn’t comfortable with Camelot’s profit growth in recent years compared to the returns to good causes.”
Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “Raising money for good causes is one of the founding principles of the National Lottery but this objective is under threat. It would be a sad and significant loss to many deserving organisations and individuals if that funding, which has amounted to some £37 billion since 1994, should dissipate as a result of inaction now. Our report lays bare the need for a concerted effort from Government, the Gambling Commission and Camelot, a monopoly supplier whose profits more than doubled in seven years while returns for good causes grew by just two per cent.”
On the flip side, a Camelot spokesman said that they noted the contents of the report and will continue to work with the Gambling Commission, DCMS and the National Lottery distribution bodies to maximise returns to good causes. “During the third licence period, annual returns to good causes have been, on average, 30 per cent higher than under the previous licence. We’ve already seen some encouraging signs that the initiatives from the strategic review that we carried out last summer are working and are confident that we have strong plans to get The National Lottery back into growth. The National Lottery has been, and continues to be, a massive success, around 60 per cent of UK adults currently play National Lottery games and, to date, we’ve made over 4,750 millionaires.”
Source: European Gaming Media and Events