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NEWS > Charity Sector News > Support the ban on lottery betting

Support the ban on lottery betting

The National Lottery was established in 1987 by the Irish Government. Generating Good Causes funding is at the heart of our establishment. Over the past 35 years, National Lottery players have raised over €6 billion for Good Causes which has benefited communities all over Ireland. It’s worth noting that 90% of all National Lottery sales revenue goes back to the community - (in 2020, this translated to 58% in prizes, 27% to Good Causes, 5% in retail commission and 10% to the operation, administration and profit of the National Lottery).

This year, we are proud to announce that in excess of 4,000 charity, sports and community groups on average, received over €289 million in 2021 through Good Causes funding. Indeed, in 2021, Benefacts showed that 34% of all funding to charities came from National Lottery Good Causes funding.

However, we could do a lot more.   

The National Lottery’s ability to generate maximum funding for Good Causes is being undermined by betting companies who offer bets on National Lottery draws.   

Research carried out by Red C on behalf of the National Lottery, estimates that this practice generates €570 million for large online betting companies and bookies. If this practice was banned, research indicates that the National Lottery would gain at least €228 million in sales. This would lead to Good Causes receiving approximately €63 million in additional funding each year! This could help hundreds more community groups across Ireland every year.    

Almost 30 cent of every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes – which has delivered substantial funding for groups and organisations all over the country to help improve their services over the years.  

  •  €289 million raised for Good Causes in 2021  
  • On average, over €5.5m raised each week by National Lottery Players  
  • Over €6 billion raised by National Lottery players since 1987  

Legislation has already been proposed in the Seanad to ban the practice of Lottery Betting. The Bill has been put forward by Senator Barry Ward and it has received widespread support. It will next be discussed in the coming weeks at the Seanad, and the National Lottery are asking you to talk to your local TD to express your support for the ending of this practice.  No other EU country allows this practice because it damages lotteries’ ability to support Good Causes. 

In addition to supporting Good Causes, the rationale for preventing player harm is clear.  The National Lottery is heavily regulated by player protection measures. These include mandatory age verification, mandatory daily spend limits, online play is not possible from 10pm to 7am, scratch card purchase limits in retail, regulator approved products only, no incentives to spend more, a dedicated advertising code and the refusal of large customer balances online. No such controls exist for lottery betting and this exposes people to unregulated gambling products online and when they visit bookies. Contrast this impact with that of the National Lottery generating funding in the safest manner possible to benefit Good Causes.   

We’re asking that charities contact their local representative and let them know that you support the ban on lottery betting because it would benefit players, retailers, the economy and of course, Good Causes.

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