UK National Lottery distributes £1.84bn to good causes in 2021-22

During the 12 months through to 31 March 2022, the National Lottery reported a basic primary contribution of £1.80bn but noted that £71.6m of this was counted as amounts drawn down during the year.

A further £14.3m was discounted due to permitted VAT recovery, funding for the National Lottery Promotions Unit, interest received on primary contributions and recovery of interest charges on EuroMillions funds held in trust.

This left £1.72bn in primary contributions payable to good causes, a drop of 0.6% on 2020-21. 

However, when accounting for £111.1m in funds in unclaimed prizes, and £12.2m in other miscellaneous payments such as secondary contributions, payments for lost and stolen scratchcards, financial penalties and ancillary activities, this pushed the final figure up to £1.84bn.

Breaking this down by quarter, £420.7m was payable in the opening quarter of the 2021-22 financial year, then £418.4m in Q2, £508.5m in Q3 and £491.3m in the fourth quarter.

Funds for good causes are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund, with the Gambling Commission ensuring payments from the Lottery operator to good causes are accurate and on time.

Since its launch in November 1994, the National Lottery has raised over £46.0bn for good causes, which include sports, arts and heritage, as well as health, education and the environment.

The news comes a week after the Court of Appeal granted permission to Camelot Group and International Game Technology (IGT) to appeal a decision to award the fourth UK National Lottery licence to Allwyn Entertainment.

The Gambling Commission in March named Allwyn as its preferred applicant for the licence, a decision that would bring to an end Camelot’s 28-year tenure as the UK’s lottery operator. Camelot, which has run the lottery since its inception in 1994, was named reserve applicant.

In April, Camelot launched a High Court challenge against the decision, regarding whether the Commission lawfully awarded the licence to Allwyn. This led to the formal issuing of the lottery licence to Allwyn being suspended. 

The High Court lifted the suspension in June, though the legal challenge continued, with Camelot and IGT, which also launched a legal challenge against the decision, going to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal last week granted permission to appeal, meaning that the automatic suspension will come back into effect, pending the outcome of appeal proceedings. The appeal hearing is likely to take place in the week of 12 September.

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