Ireland’s C&AG Requests More Info from National Lottery Regulator

Ireland’s regulator overseeing public spending is asking the Regulator of the National Lottery to provide more detailed information related to funds allocated to the Exchequer and amounts from expired unclaimed prizes.

Funds to the Exchequer as Percentage of Sales

The request was made in The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG)’s annual report on the accounts of public services in which the body overseeing public spending in Ireland was not satisfied with the level of transparency related to National Lottery contributions to the Exchequer, reported RTE.

As quoted by the media, the C&AG stated that the current representation of the National Lottery Fund accounts “do not include sufficient information to demonstrate that certain provisions of the license are being complied with,” such as the amounts that are being allocated to the Exchequer annually.

The request for more information is based on data that showed that money allocated to the Exchequer from the National Lottery has increased from €188 million ($184 million) in 2015 to €304 million ($298 million) in 2021, an increase of over 61%.

To improve the way the National Lottery Fund is accounted for, the spending watchdog recommends to the National Lottery regulator consider providing additional information in its accounts such as the share of the allocation to the Exchequer of the lottery’s sales, as well as the amounts kept by the operator due to expired unclaimed prizes.

‘Transparency and Understanding Could Be Improved’

Responding to the request, the Regulator of the National Lottery was quoted by the media saying that its annual report “already provides information on how National Lottery sales were allocated to good causes, the checks in place to ensure compliance (and any incidence of non-compliance) and why the amounts transferred in a financial year differ from the amount earned for good causes in the same period.”

Partially admitting that the request for information by the spending watchdog has grounds, the National Lottery regulator added that “transparency and understanding could be improved.”

Established under the National Lottery Act 2013, the regulator of the National Lottery is an independent regulatory office that is tasked with procuring and regulating the holding of the Irish National Lottery in a manner that will ensure it is run with all due propriety, protecting the interests of its participants and the long-term sustainability of the lottery, as well as maximizing revenue allocated to good causes.

In the summer, Ireland introduced new gambling legislation and the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, and earlier in September appointed Anne Marie Caulfield as chief executive officer of its national gambling regulator.

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