How the National Lottery Stopped Caring

Since its inception in the late nineties the National Lottery has given away millions in prizes, but also donated millions for several worthy causes.  Camelot, who run the National Lottery, have recently published record profits, however –  the amount they’ve given to charities has not grown in proportion.

It’s been revealed by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that the amounts being raised for good causes had a 2% rise from 2009 to 2017. That figure seems generous, but the amount of profit declared by Camelot was a 122% increase. Up to £71 million, from £39 million.

“Raising money for good causes is one of the founding principles of the national lottery but this objective is under threat,” says MP Meg Hillier, chair of the committee.

“It would be a sad and significant loss to many deserving organisations and individuals if that funding, which has amounted to some £37bn 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 2%.”

The National Lottery, Scratch Cards & Monopolies

What’s problematic is the fact that state-approved Camelot have a monopoly on the national lottery. As far as public, televised lotteries; Camelot have no competition in the industry. This means they have the freedom to change their business model, create more products, and ultimately choose the amounts they donate to good causes.

It’s the introduction of scratch cards where Camelot have recently made the most profit. These instant win, easily-accessed cards are often criticized as being high risk for addictive personalities. This is because they offer large prizes, are priced low, are easy to play, and they provide instant gratification if you win.  A problem gambler needn’t wait for the national lottery twice-weekly draw, they could feed their addiction easily in any retailer that sells them. These were introduced in the wake of falling ticket sales, as scratch-cards created a constant revenue stream for Camelot. What makes things worse is the fact that only 10p from each scratch card goes to good causes, compared to 30p from lottery ticket sales.

As a state-sponsored lottery company Camelot should really do more to combat gambling addiction. Rather, they create new products that make more money. This is far removed from the original national lottery format.

What Camelot could do, is put the public first. This means increasing their donations to good causes to reflect their increasing profits; in some cases at the expense of those with gambling addictions.

External lottery managers, like Prize Provision Services, ensure a fixed percentage of profits reach the causes they are advertised to support. There’s clarity with all funds raised, and people can see for themselves where the money is going. Prize Provision Services always have the societies and their fund-raising as their core principles, not company profits. Nor do they introduce products that could possibly feed gambling addiction.

Find out how launching a lottery with Prize Provision Services ensures charities take a fair share of profits.

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