Rehab lottery scratch card sales of almost €4m in 2010 yielded profits of only €9,452, according to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

He gave details in the Dáil regarding his decision to phase out the Charitable Lottery Scheme. 

Mr Shatter said when he assumed responsibility for the operation of the scheme, he undertook a review of payments being made.

He said that Rehab lottery scratch card sales of €3.969m yielded profits of only €9,452 in 2010.

Prizes of €2.6m were given out, while the costs associated with the scratch cards were €1.348m, according to the minister's statement.

Rehab Bingo sales of €3.19m during this period yielded profits of €548,000.

Mr Shatter said his decision to phase out the scheme was based on four reasons - that the scheme encourages inefficient fundraising practices and high administration costs; that it creates an incentive to run a charitable lottery at a low profit margin or at a loss and that it results in low proportions of profits reaching designated charities.

He also said it was unfair to the donors that a low proportion of monies donated was being used for charitable purposes and that the scheme had “essentially evolved into a mechanism to obtain taxpayers and National Lottery surplus funds”. 

There was no incentive for charities to keep their operating costs of such lotteries down, he said. 

He said the scheme “incentivises charities to leverage public funds, payable under the scheme, by maximising their gross ticket sales with no regard to either operating costs or how much of the money raised by ticket sales is, in fact, used for charitable purposes.”