Guernsey Press

Lottery changes not a sure bet

A WHOLESALE review of the operation of the Channel Islands Lottery has an awful lot to consider.


The local lottery has largely been a success through more than 50 years (under a couple of guises) of largely successful operations in an ever-changing environment.

But it’s now under pressure like never before – concerns about scratchcards encouraging problem gambling, and declining interest in traditional single ticket lottery draws. Bigger prizes drive sales, but raise greater concerns. These led the UK National Lottery to drop £10 scratchcards five years ago.

If you can’t offer a scratchcard with an attractive enough prize point, sales will inevitably decline, in the way that the traditional draw, no longer able to raise enough to offer a £1m. prize, is dwindling.

However, as inevitably somebody raises the prospect of extending the National Lottery to our shores, we need also to remain aware of the millions which the local lottery has raised for good causes over the years.

Its support for the operations of Beau Sejour and provision of funds for the Social Investment Fund to distribute across local charities is important, and a vital source of funding for good causes. Much of that would be lost if we lost the lottery and the funds it generates.

One prospect for the future is a ‘Postcode Lottery’ concept – subscription based with steady, sustainable income, known customers, and virtually no threat of ‘problem gambling’.

But that could be a big, and awkward, leap from where the lottery is now.