Lottery income falls sharply

13 Jul 2017 News

The Big Lottery Fund is likely to have less money to give away after its funding body posted a £300m drop in income.

The accounts of the National Lottery Distribution Fund, for the year to March 2017, show that NLDF’s total income, including investments, fell to £1.63bn, the lowest level since the start of the decade.

The previous year, the NLDF recorded an all-time high of over £1.9bn.

Camelot paid £3m into the NLDF to go towards good causes after being issued fines by the Gambling Commission “arising from a penalty imposed” on the lottery operator for breaching the terms of its operating licence in 2009.

The NLDF said this fall in income was due to “lower ticket sales and to differing rates of participation across the lottery products”.  

This poor return in income led to Camelot announcing an in-depth review of National Lottery strategy in June this year, following an overall 8.8 per cent fall in lottery sales in the UK in the last financial year.

Camelot attributed this financial year’s poor sales to a “disappointing performance” across its range of “draw-based games” particularly on Lotto.

At the time, Jo Taylor, chair of Camelot, said “sales in 2016/17 fell well short of where we’d like them to be. There’s clearly work to be done to re-engage players and address the performance of our draw-based games”.

Lottery-distributing bodies see decrease in available balance

The amounts held for the National Lottery’s distributing bodies as of 31 March 2017 show that all had seen available their available balance fall.

According to the NLDF’s accounts, the Big Lottery Fund saw a £15.2m decrease in balance available from the National Lottery, while the Heritage Lottery Fund saw a £98.1m decrease.

The NDLF gave the Big Lottery Fund £653m in the last financial year, a £1.1m decrease in terms of share of operational costs. The Heritage Lottery Fund received £326.5m, down £560,000 on the previous year in terms of share of operational costs.

Arts bodies received £326.5m in income from the fund, over £220m of which went to Arts Council England. Sports organisations also received £326.5m, over £200m of which went to Sport England.


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