Guernsey Press

Scratchcard critic asked how he would pay for Beau Sejour

DEPUTIES unhappy about the boom in sales of Channel islands Lottery scratchcards have been challenged to come up with an alternative way of funding Beau Sejour and charities.

Deputy Andy Cameron. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32369580)

Sales of £10 scratchcards increased by 16% last year and now account for nearly half of all local lottery sales.

The issue reached the States Assembly when Andy Cameron, pictured right, quizzed Peter Roffey, president of the States’ Trading Supervisory Board, which runs the lottery, about the ethics of ‘the dopamine-induced cravings triggered by the thrill of scratching off the silver surface, which can lead to compulsive purchasing’.

Deputy Roffey said he shared some of Deputy Cameron’s misgivings but defended STSB’s role.

‘We’ve been given this duty by this States,’ he said.

‘If they feel uncomfortable about that source of income, then tell us to cease it and they will have to come up with other ways of funding Beau Sejour, other good causes and whatever else.’

Deputy Cameron said that he was concerned about the growing popularity of scratchcards sold at higher prices, in some cases to people who are not financially well-off.

‘On the back of every ticket and at every resale point, the number of the helpline is there,’ said Deputy Roffey.

‘I know our lottery officer works regularly with the agency set up to help and I know [he] would happily talk to any deputy who has concerns.

‘Some addictive personalities will spend more than they can reasonably afford on scratchcards, but short of trying to sell as few as we possibly can by putting people off, which I don’t think is what we’ve been charged to do by this Assembly, I really don’t see how we overcome that conundrum.’

Deputy Cameron also asked about scratchcards which are on in licensed premises, where customers may be under the influence of alcohol.

Deputy Roffey said they were sold in fewer than 20 licensed premises and that none of them ‘are particularly heavy sellers of scratchcards’.

Sales of instant win tickets in Guernsey reached nearly £12.5m. last year, of which nearly £6m. was generated by £10 scratchcards.