Good-cause money from society lotteries rose by four per cent last year

The Gambling Commission says the figure for the year to September was £195.7m

Society lotteries
Society lotteries

The amount raised for good causes by society lotteries rose by 4 per cent to £195.7m last year, according to figures from the Gambling Commission.

The statistics, published today, show that in the year to September 2015, the amount large society lotteries raised for good causes increased by £7.3m compared with the year to March 2015.

The periods overlap because the Gambling Commission changed its annual reporting period for the latest figures to from the year to March to the year to September.

The figures are for lotteries that are licensed by the commission, which covers those with individual draws of more than £20,000 or an aggregate lottery income in a calendar year of more than £250,000.

The rise in society lotteries’ contributions to good causes was in line with the 3 per cent increase in their overall income over the period. Total proceeds rose from £437.6m to £451.7m in the year to last September, while expenses also rose by 3 per cent, from £156.4m to £161.3m.

The proportion of lottery proceeds that goes to good causes has remained broadly stable since 2012, rising from 42 per cent three years ago to 43 per cent in the year to last September.

Expenses as a percentage of proceeds rose slightly from 34 per cent to 36 per cent over the past three years, while the proportion spent on prizes for lottery players decreased from 24 per cent to 21 per cent.

Clive Mollett, chair of the Lotteries Council, which represents charity lotteries, described the figures as great news for good causes across the country.

"They illustrate that despite the charity lottery sector being much smaller than the National Lottery, it makes an important and valuable contribution to the nation’s charities, and one that is increasing at the same time as funding from the National Lottery is increasing," he said in a statement.

In December 2014, the Department for Culture Media and Sport launched a consultation on society lotteries, which closed in March 2015. The Gambling Commission was asked in January to make proposals to the government, which was believed to be the last phase of the process – six months later, however, the outcome of the consultation has still not been published.

Figures released by Camelot in May showed that the National Lottery gave £1.9bn to charities in the year to the end of March – the second-highest contribution in its history.

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