Over €12.4m was spent by people in County Cavan on the National Lottery in 2017, The Anglo-Celt can reveal.
Operators of the National Lottery have refused to provide figures to this publication on the amount of money spent by local people on the various lottery gambling products, citing “commercial reasons”, despite its de facto monopoly status. However from the basis of the most recently published figures, the Celt can confirm that at least €12,402,130 was spent in the county on the National Lottery tickets and their growth sector of online gambling.
The company was eager to promote news that €3,720,639 was raised in Co Cavan for good causes with a press release to coincide with the publication of their 2017 trading results. The figure of how much was spent by Lottery gamblers in Co Cavan was calculated on the basis of the company’s boast that “nearly 30c” in every Euro spent goes to “good causes”. Thus, 70% equates to the mammoth sum of €12.4m.
Given the population of Co Cavan in the latest census (2016), that equates to an average annual spend of €162.81 per man, woman and child; a whopping €224.87 per person annually if minors are excluded. National Lottery claim that 40% of adults regularly “play” lottery “games”; that would equate to slightly over 22,000 people in Cavan.
While €3,720,639 was raised from Co Cavan for good causes, it’s unclear how much has been spent on good causes in the county as these funds are administered by government departments, and are not available.
On a national level the figures are astonishing, and seemingly growing. Ticket sales for 2017 amounted to €800.2 million (2016: €750.2 million). Sales for draw based games were €558.8 million (2016: €529.8 million), while sales for instant games were €241.4 million (2016: €220.4 million).
The Lottery has operated since March 1987 in the Republic, but the Celt has sought figures relating only for the period November 2014 to 2018. This coincides with the Government’s awarding of a 20-year licence to operate the National Lottery to a company called ‘Premier Lotteries Ireland’ (PLI). The shareholders of PLI are Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), An Post and An Post Pension Funds. The lottery website states that OTPP has C$140.8 billion in net assets, and “is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada”.