Government considers sale of National Lottery

Tuesday 06 September 2011 10.08
€770m was raised last year from the sales of lottery tickets and other products
€770m was raised last year from the sales of lottery tickets and other products

The National Lottery has been included in a list of assets, which could be sold by the Government, RTÉ News has learned.

The company, which employs 100 people, raised €770m from the sales of lottery tickets and other products in 2010.

It gave away €420m in prize money and its costs were €108m, leaving it with €244m to donate to good causes.

Ministers have not yet been presented with a recommendation as to whether it should be sold and that issue is likely to be some time off.

However, it is being valued to assess how much it could raise as part of a programme on disposal of State assets.

A key issue in any sale would be to determine how much profit could go to any new owner.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Department of Finance declined to comment on the issue, but the matter was raised at the Government's Economic Management Council.

The group is made up of Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Selling lotteries is nothing new - Britain's lottery is run by Camelot, which donates 40% of sales to good causes.

Elsewhere, Spain is in the process of selling its company, Loterias, which could raise €7bn for its cash-strapped government.