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Olympics national lottery games likely to hit charities even harder

Olympics national lottery games likely to hit charities even harder

National lottery games to raise funds for the proposed 2012 London Olympics could result in even more money being diverted from good causes and charities than was originally feared.

The Olympics-themed lottery games could divert on average “59% of the estimated £750m income from new Olympic lottery games” from existing good causes, according to a document from lottery operator Camelot. If this proves correct, this would mean a loss of £64 million a year to good causes from 2005 to 2012.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had originally estimated that the new lottery games would result in a 4% reduction in in proceeds from existing games.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), among other groups, was not pleased at this news. It responded by calling on the government to end the 12% lottery tax on every ticket.

“The lottery funding of voluntary and community organisations doing vital work throughout the UK could decline sharply with the diversion of £1.5 billion lottery revenue to the Olympics,” said Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO. “NCVO is calling on Government to minimise the damage caused to good causes by this plan by diverting the 12% tax on every National Lottery ticket worth £549 million per year to the good causes and lottery players.”

“The Olympics lottery fund sets a worrying new precedent for future decisions about the distribution of Lottery funding. We
continue to hold by the principle that Lottery funds should be distributed by an independently appointed bodies which have the freedom to take final decisions on both funding priorities and specific projects after consultation.”

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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