News, Culture & Society

Lottery firm’s profits more than double to £71million

  • Auditors found Camelot’s profits rose from £39m to £71m from ’09-10 to ’16-17
  • But over same period, amount of cash given to charities went up by just £31m
  • Report found number of people buying scratch cards meant less money was being awarded to chariable causes

The National Lottery operator has seen its profits soar – even though the amount going towards good causes has risen by only 2 per cent.

Official auditors found profits at Camelot rose from £39million to £71million from 2009-10 to 2016-17 – up 122 per cent.

But over the same period, the amount of cash given to charities went up by just £31million, or 2 per cent, to £1.5billion.

Official auditors found profits at Camelot rose from £39million to £71million from 2009-10 to 2016-17 – up 122 per cent

The National Audit Office said the discrepancy was down to official rules linking Camelot’s profits to sales rather than the amount raised for good causes.

The same figures show sales of tickets and scratch cards went up 27 per cent to £6.9billion from 2009-10 to 2016-17 – far lower than the increase in profits.

Part of the reason for the difference is that scratch cards have become more popular but do not pay out as much to good causes.

The NAO report said this trend led to overall sales falling 9 per cent last year, leading to a 15 per cent drop in income for good causes.

Camelot has predicted a further fall in sales and income for good causes in 2017-18.

This could lead to a shortfall for organisations which allocate funds.

The NAO said distributors, which include UK Sport, Spirit of 2012, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, often had commitments spanning many years ‘so it is likely that commitments will exceed their fund balance at a given date’.

As of February this year, the approximate return for good causes ranged from 34p for each pound spent on online draw-based games to 10p for scratch cards, with some scratch cards returning as little as 5p.

A Camelot spokesman said: ‘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.’

 



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