UK National Lottery contributions to good causes up by 2.4% in 2020-21

The UK National Lottery contributed £1.83bn to the National Lottery Distribution Fund for good causes during the year ended 31 March, 2021, up 2.4% from 2019-20, according to new Gambling Commission figures.


The Lottery’s basic primary contribution from revenue made during the year was £1.80bn, up 3.8% year-on-year.

After paying £60.0m towards investments - part of the lottery licence conditions - and £10.6m in other adjustments, this left the National Lottery’s primary contribution to good causes at £1.73bn, up 3.9%.

The Lottery contributed a further £100.3m in unclaimed prizes, down 18.7%, and £6.1m in other payments, resulting in total payments to the national Lottery Distribution Fund of £1.83bn.

The Gambling Commission noted that these figures may differ from operator Camelot’s own reports of contributions to good causes due to differences in reporting methods. Camelot also includes investments in its good causes calculation.

Amounts payable to good causes increased significantly as the year went on, thanks in part to the relaxation of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions. In the first quarter of the year - ended 30 June 2020 - £382.3m, down 1.6% from 2019-20.

However, in the second quarter this increased to £452.9m. After a slight dip to £444.8m in the third quarter, contributions reached £551.3m in Q4. This figure was up 25.5% from the same quarter of 2019-20.

The announcement comes as operators bid for the fourth National Lottery licence tender.

Sazka Group was the first business to announce its application in October 2020, followed by Sugal & Damani. Camelot – which currently operates the lottery – showed interest by completing the selection questionnaire, but has not confirmed whether it is competing for the tender. Last month, Italian lottery operator Sisal partnered with BT to bid for the license.