UKGC: National Lottery good causes funds fall 11% in latest quarter

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that the National Lottery’s Good Causes funding in Q4 fell in comparison to the previous quarter and last year. 

Publishing an update on its website, the Commission showed that the total raised for good causes in Q4 (January-March 2022), was £491.3 million.

This represented a decline of 3.4% from the previous quarter and 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020/21, a drop of £17.2 million and £60 million respectively. 

Q4 2020/21 saw £551.3 million contributed in good causes funding, whilst in Q3 2021/22 a total of £508.5 million – when the additional three quarters are factored in, £2.4 billion was contributed to good causes. 

The declines in quarterly good cause funding has been attributed by the UKGC to a 0.8% decline in total National Lottery sales to £17.2 million in comparison to the previous quarter. 

Additionally, EuroMillions sales fell by £122.8 million, a decline of 22.4%, largely due to ‘comparatively fewer rollovers occurring the most recent period’ according to the UKGC, although there was an increase across all other games. 

Lastly, total unclaimed prizes added as returns to good causes stood at ‘around £10 million less’ in Q4 2021/22 than in the previous quarter, which the Commission stated was due to a ‘particularly high’ volume of scratchcard game closures during Q3 2021/22. 

Good causes funding was a prominent topic during the recent National Lottery licence competition, which saw the 10-year management of the lottery handed from Camelot to Allwyn, ending the former’s 13-year tenure. 

Notably, politicians such as Ian Duncan Smith and other campaigners have called for a fixed percentage of National Lottery operator revenue to be directed towards good causes, after it was reported that Camelot’s contributions fell from 28% as of 1 March 2010 to under 23% as of 2021. 

Olympic athletes – who are meant to be some of the primary beneficiaries of the National Lottery’s financial support – shared their views on Good Cause funding with the DCMS during the licence contest.

Swimmer Adam Peaty MBE and Ellie Robinson and Paralympic rower Lauren Rowles served as witnesses to a DCMS Select Committee on National Lottery funding, with Peaty in particular questioning whether the athletes were funded to make Camelot ‘look good’.

Allwyn will assume its role as National Lottery operator in February 2023, although defeated bidders Camelot and Northern & Shell Group have appealed the UKGC’s decision.

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