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Friday 18 January 2019

Lotto funding for good causes 'plummets €43m in a decade'

Ralph Riegel

A new report from online gambling operators has said the amount of money generated for good causes by the National Lottery has plummeted by €43m in the last decade.

The study by economist Jim Power, which was commissioned by operators Lottoland and myLotto24, found funding for good causes plummeted 16pc from €268m in 2008 to €225m in 2017.

Some politicians have demanded that online lottery-based gambling - where players bet on the outcome of the lotteries rather than buy actual tickets - be banned.

However, the report said there was no evidence to suggest that online lottery betting presents "any meaningful threat" to good causes funding from the National Lottery.

Last night, the National Lottery vehemently rejected the report and accused online lottery gambling operations of "cannibalising" Ireland's lottery.

"The National Lottery rejects the claim that offshore, bet-on-lottery operators pose no threat to National Lottery good causes funding.

"These operators are clearly cannibalising our games and denying good causes from additional funding, which is incredibly impactful on communities across the country," a spokesperson said.

Over 31 years, the National Lottery has raised €5.3bn for good causes. However, Mr Power said he found no evidence that lottery betting was undermining funding for good causes.

"It is factually incorrect to argue, or indeed lobby, on the premise that online lottery betting, which is fully licensed in this jurisdiction, presents any threat to the good causes funding," he said.

Irish Independent

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