UK National Lottery contributions to good causes are on the rise again, in a turnaround that should come as good news to UK Sport, the elite sports funding body, as the countdown to Rio 2016 continues.
Announcing record ticket sales of £7.28 billion ($12.1 billion/€11.2 billion), Camelot, the National Lottery operator, said that in its year to end-March 2015, total returns to good causes such as UK Sport and Sport England, its grass-roots counterpart, reached just under £1.8 billion ($2.8 billion/€2.5 billion).
This was an increase of £45 million ($69 million/€63 million),, or 2.6 per cent, on the 2013-14 figure, which was in turn down 10.25 per cent on the prior year.
UK Sport actually suffered an even bigger 14 per cent cut in its share of Lottery proceeds in 2013-14, an unwelcome development at a time when Exchequer funding is down from £240 million ($409.8 million/€301 million) over the 2009-13 period to £158 million ($269.8 million/€198.2 million) between 2013 and 2017.
These latest Camelot figures are positive enough to suggest that UK Sport’s share of Lottery proceeds in 2014-15 should have been at least slightly higher than the £75.7 million ($115 million/€104 million), it got last year.
Sport England received £209.5 million ($321 million/€291 million), over the same period.
Camelot’s latest results showed that sales of instant play games continued to grow far more quickly than draw-based games, producing year-on-year growth of 22.7 per cent against 1.3 per cent.
This is a mixed blessing for recipients of Lottery funding, since instant play games return less to good causes than their draw-based counterparts.
Andy Duncan, Camelot chief executive, said the group wanted to “build on this year’s record-breaking performance”.
October 2014: Better news on Lottery front for Sport England and UK Sport
July 2014: Exclusive: UK Sport suffers £12.6 million decline in lottery income
December 2011: National Lottery unveils "Class of 2012"
August 2009: National Lottery money has ruined athletics, claims Olympian