The Health Lottery set to keep temporary increase in amount that goes to charities

The Health Lottery has indicated that it intends to make permanent a Covid-19-related increase in the proportion of its ticket sales that go to charity, parliament heard this morning.

Donald Macrae, promoter at The Health Lottery, told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that he “can’t see us going backwards” on the percentage of sales given to good causes.

That figure stands at 25.5 per cent after it was raised from 20.3 per cent in 2020 “in response to the pandemic”, Macrae said.

He did not respond directly when asked to make “a very firm commitment” to a permanent increase, but said The Health Lottery was “in the business of trying to raise money for good causes”.

Earlier in the hearing, which is part of the committee’s ongoing inquiry into the future of The National Lottery, Macrae claimed some charities could only deliver National Lottery-backed projects because of society lotteries’ focus on unrestricted funding.

He said: “The National Lottery [Community Fund] tends to give restricted funding for particular projects or to carry out particular activities.

“Society lotteries provide far more unrestricted funding, which allows the charities simply to exist, so that they can pay staff, they can pay rent, etc.”

Macrae added that, as a result, “society lotteries are there providing a lot of the funding that allows these charities to actually deliver some of the National Lottery [Community Fund] projects that they also have”.

Giving evidence on the same panel, Clara Govier, managing director of the People’s Postcode Lottery, said the trusts awarding money raised from PPL were “aligned” on “making sure the majority is unrestricted, long-term, relation-based funding”.

Asked by MPs about the “combative” relationship between society lotteries and Camelot, the company that has run the National Lottery for 30 years, Tony Vick, chair of the Lotteries Council, said: “They have not been the easiest partners to work with in the sector.”

Camelot lost the licence to run the National Lottery in March, when it was awarded to Allwyn.

Camelot has launched a legal appeal against the decision.

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