UK National Lottery Distributed £1.84bn for Good Causes in 2021-22

UK National Lottery Distributed £1.84bn for Good Causes in 2021-22

Across the 2021-22 financial year, the UK National Lottery raised £1.84bn for good causes, a 0.4% increase on the previous year.

This week the official National Lottery revenue figures were released for the 2021-22 financial year. In the 12 months running up to 31st March 2022, the UK National Lottery has detailed a primary contribution of £1.80bn, noting that £71.6m was counted as drawn down. 

A further £14.3m was discounted due to VAT recovery, funding for the National Lottery Promotions Unity, interest received on primary contributions, and recovery of interest charges on EuroMillions funds held in trust. This left a remaining £1.72bn in contributions to good causes, a total drop of 0.6% from the preceding year. 

When adding the £111.1m in unclaimed prizes and the £12.2m in miscellaneous payments, like secondary contributions, payments for lost and stolen scratchcards, penalties, and other activities, the final figure is ​​ £1.84bn. 

Breaking the figures down quarterly, this is what the year looked like in charitable giving: Q1: £420.7m, Q2: £418.4m, Q3: £508.5m, and Q4: £491.3m. The funds are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund until distributed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The total revenue for the year as recorded in March 2022 was £8.09bn.

The National Lottery is one of the most prominent charitable organisations in the UK, and each year it donates thousands of millions to good causes. Since its creation in 1994, the Lottery has contributed over £46.0bn to good causes, supporting more than 670,000 projects, including sports, arts, heritage, health, education, and the environment. According to the Lottery, only 1% of profit is retained, 4% is spent on operating costs, and 95% goes back to winners and society.

The financial press release comes at a time of turmoil for the National Lottery. In March this year, Camelot and IGT lost the operating licence for the first time since the Lottery began – that’s a 28-year tenure. The UKGC instead awarded the licence to Allwyn, with Camelot named a reserve applicant.

In April, Camelot challenged the decision, launching a High Court case examining whether the UKGC lawfully awarded the licence. The argument focuses on the scoring system and risk factor assessments to judge potential licensees. 

Camelot initially scored the highest in the licence bid, using the “risk-discount” system, which took into account the potential that an operator may fall short of its targeted revenue for good causes. However, the impact of the risk discount was then reduced, putting Allwyn ahead.

The case has led to Allwyn’s licence being suspended. The High Court lifted the suspension in June, ruling against Camelot and IGT. However, the parties have now raised the case via the Court of Appeals. Opening the case with the Court of Appeals means that Allywn’s suspension returns, pending the outcome. The case is likely to be heard in early September. 

In the meantime, the Lottery has recorded a slight decrease in sales, affected by the post-pandemic economy and cost-of-living crisis in the UK. However, total revenue for 2021-22 still made records, hitting over £8bn for the second time. Allwyn is set to begin operating the Lottery in February 2024 and has extensive and transformative plans for games, tech, and provision for safe play.

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