MPs are to investigate whether changes should be made to the operation of the National Lottery, in the face of falling ticket sales and reduced money for arts and heritage projects.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of the Lottery ahead of the process to award a new operating licence from 2023.
Camelot has run the National Lottery since its inception in 1994, however it has reported a long-term decline in lottery receipts, with fewer people buying tickets and therefore less money being given to good causes. These include arts, heritage and sports projects.
The committee will seek to explore how the next licence should be structured in order to maximise returns to good causes, and how funding distributors – such as Arts Council England – can be supported to manage fluctuations in the amount going to good causes.
Chair of the DCMS Committee Damian Collins said: “This autumn it will be 25 years since the National Lottery was launched, and in that time it has raised more than £39 billion for good causes.
“A lot has changed since the first lottery draw was made in 1994, and this is the right moment to look at how the new licence should be awarded and managed. In particular, against a background of falling lottery receipts we want to consider the sustainability of the lottery.”
Camelot’s most recent financial results show that despite an increase in sales in 2018/19, the amount given by the National Lottery to good causes fell by £600,000 on the previous year.
Camelot’s running of the lottery came under increased scrutiny in 2017, when it was investigated by the National Audit Office. It was discovered that despite Camelot’s profits rising by 122% between 2009/10 and 2016/17, the amount of money given to good causes only rose by 2%.