Lottery Funds For Good Causes Fall 15Pc As Players Turn Their Backs On Draw

National Lottery players are turning their backs on draw-based games, triggering a drop in income for charities and other good causes that receive funding support from the state-backed lottery scheme.

According to the National Audit Office (NAO), the Government’s spending watchdog, good causes income fell by 15pc to £1.63bn in the year to April.

Returns for good causes are higher from sales of draw-based lottery games, which dropped 13pc, than for scratch cards and instant-win games, which fell by 2pc, NAO’s report said.

Around 34p per £1 spent on draw-based games bought online is given to good causes, compared to 5-10p for scratch cards.

Camelot, which operates the National Lottery, told the NAO that scratch cards and instant-win games returned less to good causes due to the need to offer a higher proportion of proceeds as prizes to encourage consumers to participate.

Lottery sales fell by 9pc to £6.93bn in the 2016-17 tax year, and Camelot predicts a further fall in sales and income for good causes in 2017-18. However, the report found that Camelot’s profits had been proportionately greater than increases in both lottery sales and returns for good causes.

Camelot’s accounts show that lottery sales rose 27pc to £6.9bn between 2009-10 and 2016-17. Over the same period, returns for good causes increased by 2pc to £1.5bn, and Camelot’s profit for its shareholders increased by 22pc to £71m.

A Camelot spokesman said: “The NAO report restates what we publicly acknowledged back in June in relation to National Lottery sales and returns to good causes. Since then, we have carried out a wide-ranging strategic review of the business and announced strong plans to get the National Lottery back into growth next year and raising as much money as possible for good causes.

“We continue to return around 95pc of all National Lottery revenue back to winners and society, one of the highest percentages in the world. In contrast, our profit after tax is around just 1pc of total revenue.”

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