National Lottery rejects criticism of commercial strategy

National Lottery rejects criticism of commercial strategy

The National Lottery has hit back at new research that claims Irish charities and good causes could be losing out on as much as €43m a year due to its current commercial strategy.

The finding is contained in a new report by Dublin City University economist Tony Foley, commissioned by the European Lotto Betting Association, a body representing bet-on-lottery operators.

The research found that currently up to €43m in good-causes funding is being lost every year because of the business approach of Premier Lotteries Ireland.

The report identified a number of key factors impacting funding currently and into the future, namely:

  • The unprecedented level of unclaimed prizes returned to the operator
  • A fall in good-causes funding contribution relative to National Lottery sales
  • Increasing National Lottery prizes as a share of sales
  • The ongoing underperformance of the National Lottery digitally

Commenting on his research, Mr Foley said the perceived threat of online lottery betting to good-causes funding was minimal.

“The reality is that issues such as the reduction in good-causes funding as a percentage of National Lottery sales in recent years, the ongoing limited digital performance of the National Lottery, reduced player participation and the extent of the unclaimed prizes expected to be returned to the operator over the 20-year license, are far more significant threats to the future of the good-causes funding,” he said.

However, the National Lottery pointed out that the research was commissioned by eLBA — a group it said makes “no contribution at all to the Good Causes Fund in Ireland and some of whose members carry on betting activities in Ireland relating to lotteries which they are prohibited from in other EU countries”.

“The prizes won by National Lottery players in 2018 were €98m greater than in 2014, and the amount of funding provided to good causes in 2018 was €49m higher than in 2014. Between 2015 and 2018, participants in the National Lottery have raised €870m for good causes,” read a statement.

Last week alone €4.6m was raised and so the total since inception is over €5.5bn.

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