Call for lotto cash figures

EASTWOOD MP Gloria De Piero is leading calls for information on how much money is spent on lottery tickets in every Parliamentary constituency to be released to the public.

The calls come because Ms De Piero believes some areas – including her Ashfield constituency – do not receive fair amounts of funding for local good causes compared to how much residents in those areas spend on lottery tickets.

Although information on what projects lottery money is spent on is available in the public domain, no data on how much each constituency spends on tickets has been released by National Lottery operator Camelot since 1999.

When these figures were released they showed that in some areas ‘the money spent on tickets was out of kilter with what they received back for good causes’, said the Labour MP.

According to the data, nearby Nottingham South was ranked at 103 for total spent on tickets at £51,697 overall – the equivalent of every adult in the constituency spending £704 on lottery tickets in a year. In return, the area received 01p per pound spent by residents in Nottingham South for local good causes.

But Ashfield, which spent £42,155 overall on lottery tickets in 1999 – an average of £577 for each adult – received only 5p in each pound residents had spend for good causes in the constituency.

Ms De Piero, who is the Shadow Culture Minister, said that if the Government is serious about being transparent, the information should be released.

She said: “The important thing to note here is that the National Lottery was set up by an Act of Parliament – MPs voted for it – so I don’t think it is unreasonable at all for MPs and their constituents to see not just where money is spent but where tickets are bought too.

“There is no such thing as having too much information in the public domain.”

The funding is distributed by 13 independent bodies, not by Camelot, but bosses at the group have has so far refused to release the information, citing its ‘commercially sensitive’ nature.

She added: “It’s time to have a fresh debate about where the National Lottery goes next. Getting the figures for where tickets are purchased is crucial to that debate.”