What Future for Lottery Sports Funding?

National LotteryEarlier this month the Government announced the tender process for the sale of a 20 year license on the National Lottery.  Proceeds from an up front payment for the license will be used to fund the building of the National Children’s Hospital.

Nobody would question the need or the right policy of creating such a service but there are fears about whether the short term gain from selling the Lottery license will have an impact on the longer term benefit for good causes including sport that have traditionally benefitted.

Payments from a fund set up to lessen the blow for charities when the Lottery was first introduced in  the 1980’s are drawing to an end.  In 2012 this money amounted to around €6 million distributed across a range of charities including rehab, the irish Cancer Society and the ISPCC.

In total since its inception over €4 billion has been given to good causes ranging from charity through the arts and a large measure to sport.

Many clubhouses and sporting facilities bear the mark of National Lottery Funding, as is the case in almost every country in which a national pool is organised.

In the UK, where operator Camelot has run the Lottery through three successive tenders, the split in revenues is that 50% of the pool is returned in prizes, 28% is devoted to good causes through the Government, 12% goes to the Government for general expenditure and 10% is retained for operating expenses and operator profit.

The good cause distribution is further divided into arts, sport and heritage projects funded through government agencies and each drawing around 18% of the funding; and charitable and community projects funded through the Big Lottery Fund that accounts for the remaining 46%.

Over £30 billion has been distributed via this mechanic over the life of the UK national lottery.

Camelot is expected to be one of the bidders for the Irish license, along with GTech and the current operators involving an Post.

Expressions of Interest in applying for the license are being sought by government with a closing date of 7th June in the first phase.

The awarding of the national Lottery License is of huge importance to many, not least in sport, in retail where a 6% return on ticket sales has traditionally been a good revenue generator, for the potential operators and for their advisers.

Sport for Business will host a special Round Table on National Lottery Funding for Sport to take place in Dublin on Thursday June 13th from 0900 to 1100.  Attendance will be limited to 12, drawn from sport, business and other areas and the subjects to be covered will include:

How important is lottery funding to sport?

How can the long term benefit be protected?

How can sport maintain a strong voice against other equally important potential beneficiaries.

Places on our monthly Round Table events always fill quickly.  If you would like to participate you are urged to reserve a provisional place through the booking service below.  The final list of attendees will be confirmed on Monday June 10th.

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