The National Lottery Distribution Fund raised £1.83bn in total income to provide towards good causes in FY2020/21, a steady increase on the previous year.
Publishing its Annual Reports and Accounts for the period ending 31 March, the Fund confirmed that the drawdown by lottery distributing bodies had increased from £1.8bn up to £1.85bn.
The Fund acknowledged that its income did not increase in line with total National Lottery ticket sales, citing the ‘complex operation of the current licence, where each type of lottery product returns varying proportions to good causes.’
In total, the Distribution Fund committed £1.12bn in grants due within one year with a further £978.59m in grant liabilities due within five years.
Breaking down good cause funding, 448,755 was committed to the National Lottery Community Fund, taking 40.9% of the total figure.
Following the NLCF, the National Lottery Heritage fund received the second-largest amount with 263.95m, 23.58% of the total; Arts Council England (£190.18m) and Sport England (£134.44m) rounded off the top four good causes in terms of funds received.
The Fourth National Lottery licence competition is currently underway and in the evaluation phase, with incumbent operator Camelot fending off competition from Sisal, Allwyn and Northern & Shell Group for the ten-year contract.
Last week, a DCMS Select Committee heard the lived experiences of Adam Peaty MBE, the Team GB world-record Olympic Gold swimmer, champion Paralympic rower Lauren Rowles and swimmer Ellie Robinson, having all received National Lottery funding to aid their careers.
Speaking at the hearing, Labour MP Kevin Brennan observed that “returns for good causes in 2017 were only 2% higher in 2017 than they had been in 2009, whereas in the same period Camelot’s profits were 122% higher?”.
Peaty responded in the hearing: “I read about this a few days ago, it’s hard because it’s gambling. Are we funded to make them look good?
“I think if we’re doing that then there should be more funding. If your profits are going up by 120% and good causes are only going up by 2%, then it doesn’t take anyone with two brain cells to go ‘hold on a minute, what’s going on here?’ Camelot or whoever gets the next award… there needs to be more back to society.”