UK National Lottery Raises £422m for Charities in Q1

UK National Lottery Raises £422m for Charities in Q1

Figures are in for Q1, with the National Lottery raising £422.9m for good causes during the first quarter of 2022-23.

The National Lottery is one of the most prominent charitable giving organisations in the UK, and they have released their Q1 figures, which cover the three months until the end of June. The total figure for good causes was £422.9m. The total revenue amount was a 0.5% increase in Q1, but still 13.9% lower than Q4’s figures and 16.8% Q3 for the preceding 2021-22.

The figures, which the UK Gambling Commission published, attributed the drop to an 8.7% loss in revenue of ticket sales for this quarter when compared with Q4 2021-22. 

All lottery tickets registered a drop in sales, according to the commission, except for the EuroMillions. In total, lottery tickets were down 15.9% and scratch cards by 11.4% quarter-on-quarter.

Additionally, unclaimed prizes, added to the good causes pot, were also lower than the previous quarter, with £29m less contributed. The Commission stated that this was due to business closures in Q4 of 2021-22, which led to more unclaimed prizes. 

Since the UK National Lottery’s launch in 1994, it’s raised over £46bn for good causes, which include sports, heritage, health, education and the environment. The National Lottery Distribution Fund holds all funds, while the Commission ensures they are distributed accurately and timely.

Recently, Camelot, which has run the lottery for 28 years, lost its operator license renewal bid to a competitor. Successful applicant, Allwyn, will take over operations in Feb 2024 after winning their lottery licensed tenure bid in September 2022. There is currently an “enabling agreement” in place, which means Allwyn has formally been awarded the license, and the transition period has begun.

It’s not been an easy ride for Allwyn of late as Camelot, and tech partner IGT, challenged the Commission’s decision in court, arguing that the process had not been transparent enough or fair in its application scoring criteria.

The details come down to the Commission’s use of a risk factor score, which adds to the total application outcome and represents the chance that the operator will not reach their financial targets for raising funds for good causes. 

Allwyn and Camelot received the same risk score of zero, which Camelot said wasn’t fair, as Allwyn ran a greater risk of not meeting their stated financial goals. Allwyn’s proposal suggested they could raise £38bn for good causes during the 10-year license. In contrast, Camelot has raised £46bn for good causes over 28 years. Hence Allwyn’s bid should’ve had a higher risk of not meeting its goals. Camelot called on the Commission to explain why both parties got the same score.

Camelot challenged the decision in the High Court, which led to the suspension of Allwyn’s licence award until the case was settled. The case went to the Court of Appeals, but eventually, Camelot withdrew from the legal challenge. 

While there were early talks of financial settlements this week, it’s been reported that Allwyn is negotiating with Camelot regarding a potential acquisition. Parties close to the deal have said an agreement could be reached within weeks that would see Allwyn take ownership of Camelot and their entire UK set-up, including the current lottery license rights. Allwyn has confirmed the talks are taking place but added no details, as yet. 

In terms of the lottery, Allwyn plans to rejuvenate the game and have lower priced £1 tickets. They expect to increase sales and revenue for good causes over their upcoming tenure.

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