The Comptroller and Auditor General, the State's spending watchdog, has published its latest report on the accounts of the public services.

In it, the C&AG calls for more information to be made public in relation to how funds received from the National Lottery are accounted for.

The report states that contributions from the National Lottery due to the exchequer have increased by almost 62% from around €188 million in 2015 to around €304 million in 2021.

Since 2015, just over €124m in expired unclaimed prizes has been accumulated, an average of around €17.7m per year.

By the end of 2021, almost €122m had been used for the promotion of the National Lottery and or the Lottery games.

Of this, 98%, €120m, has been spent on incremental marketing with the remaining 2%, under €2 million, spent on top-up prizes.

"The National Lottery Fund accounts, as currently presented, do not include sufficient information to demonstrate that certain provisions of the licence are being complied with, in particular around the amounts allocated to the exchequer annually," the C&AG report finds.

It recommends that the National Lottery Regulator should consider including additional information in its accounts, for example, the allocation to the exchequer as a proportion of National Lottery sales and the total amounts forfeited annually in favour of the operator in respect of expired unclaimed prizes.

In its response, the Regulator of the National Lottery said it partially agreed with the finding.

"The Regulator's 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," the Regulator said.

"However, it is accepted that transparency and understanding could be improved," it added.

Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which operates the National Lottery, said it welcomed the Comptroller and Auditor General's Report.

"This report confirms that prizes available to National Lottery participants have risen broadly in line with returns to good causes, which rose by 62% in the period 2015 to 2021," it said.

"The report makes clear that this growth in benefit for National Lottery prize winners and Good Causes, has been achieved in accordance with the terms of the Government’s licence, including the stipulation that expired unclaimed prizes may be used for the benefit of the National Lottery by PLI through promotion including marketing of the National Lottery," the company added.