Public Accounts Committee

Decline in National Lottery Income inquiry

Inquiry status: open

The Public Accounts Committee will examine the decline in National Lottery income on Wednesday 24 January 2018.

Scope of the inquiry

The National Lottery launched in 1994. It raises money for good causes across the UK, including the arts, sports, education and the environment. The National Lottery is run by Camelot UK and overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Lottery funding is distributed by 12 public bodies.

Since April 2016, lottery distributors have been concerned about a fall in Lottery income for good causes and the impact this could have on their future spending commitments. As a result of these concerns, the National Audit Office investigated trends in lottery funding from 2004 to 2017, and the impact this has on good causes.

The National Audit Office investigation found that, whilst Lottery income increased from 2004 to 2016, it fell in 2016-17 by 15% (April to April). Camelot anticipates a further fall in income for 2017-18. Concurrently, increases in Camelot’s profits have been proportionately greater than increases in both Lottery sales and returns for good causes.

Although distributors are receiving more information to help them manage their funding of good causes, there are still concerned that they do not get all they need.

The Public Accounts Committee will ask the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, The Gambling Commission, Camelot and the Big Lottery Fund about how they can manage lottery income in future, their assessment of its impact on good causes, and how to ensure distributors know all they need to fund good causes responsibly.

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