MPs launch inquiry into National Lottery licence

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will examine whether the terms of the licence to run the lottery need to change

MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have launched an inquiry into whether the way the National Lottery is run needs to change.

The inquiry, which began today, will look at whether the terms of the licence to run the lottery needs to change to maximise the returns for good causes, and whether there needs to be greater flexibility to respond to changing consumer habits.

The licence to operate the lottery, held by Camelot, is due to be re-awarded in 2023, and the process will start next year.

Camelot has held the licence since the lottery began in 1994 and it was last renewed in 2012.

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee in April last year concluded that the current terms of the licence were too generous to Camelot after Camelot’s profits rose by 122 percent between 2009 and 2018, while the returns to good causes increased by only 2 per cent.

The lottery has raised more than £39bn for good causes since 1994.

In a statement announcing the DCMS committee inquiry, Damian Collins MP, the committee’s chair, said: "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."

The inquiry will also ask what lessons can be learned from previous licences, what challenges a new operator would face and how the organisations that distribute lottery funding, such as the National Lottery Community Fund, can be better supported to deal with fluctuations in the amount of money from the lottery.

It will also look at the impact of society lotteries on the National Lottery.

The committee has issued a call for written evidence and the deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 30 August.

More information can be found here

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