Written evidence submitted by the National Lottery Distributors




Response to Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into the Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors.


May 2020



  1. The National Lottery Distributors use the Good Causes money raised by National Lottery players to support arts, sports, heritage, charities and communities. 


  1. National Lottery funding has had a transformational impact on the well-being and quality of life of people and communities across the whole of the United Kingdom for more than 25 years.  In that time National Lottery players have raised more than £40bn for Good Causes.


  1. In the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, the importance of The National Lottery as part of the fabric of our national life has never been greater.  The National Lottery is making a major contribution to the national effort to combat the effects of COVID-19.  All National Lottery Distributors are responding at pace to identify needs in the sectors they support, and to respond flexibly and swiftly to meet those needs where they can.


  1. Overall The National Lottery is offering a far reaching package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed National Lottery money to combat the effects of COVID-19.


  1. At the same time, Distributors are working closely with Camelot, the operator of The National Lottery, Gambling Commission and DCMS to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sales of National Lottery tickets, and hence the funds available to Good Causes.



  1. The National Lottery Distributors are Non-Departmental Public Bodies accountable to Parliament and sponsored by DCMS or the relevant devolved government department.


  1. This evidence is offered jointly by The National Lottery distributor bodies sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:



  1. Individual distributors are submitting their own evidence to this inquiry, describing the specific issues they are encountering in their sectors and how they are responding to these.  This response provides some high level comment relevant to The National Lottery as whole.


The National Lottery’s role in national life

  1. In the last 25 years, The National Lottery has contributed to life in the UK in an extraordinary number of ways:

The impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors supported by The National Lottery

  1. Distributors are working at pace to identify the needs in our sectors.  Whilst some is sector specific, there are some common threads:




The National Lottery response to the impacts of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors

  1. Embedded as a fundamental part of our national life, The National Lottery is a vital and relevant element of the response to the challenges the nation is now facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. Charities and organisations affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the UK are being given access to a significant package of support of up to £600m of repurposed money from The National Lottery.  This spans the arts, community and charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors:



  1. Our colleagues in the devolved nations are similarly working hard to respond to the needs they are identifying.



Although Olympic and Paralympic sport has taken a back seat during the ongoing crisis, it has not stopped elite sport playing its part to help the UK public. Athletes and sporting bodies are volunteering their time and facilities to support efforts to combat COVID-19. Many athletes have used their social media channels actively to champion Sport England’s Join The Movement to their followers.


  1. National Lottery Distributors are also working flexibly to support our existing grantholders, many of whom may be facing changes in their plans.  This may include agreeing to changes in timetable or activities, or flexibility with payments.  We are advising grantholders to make decisions on the best course of action for their organisation or project in line with the published Government advice, and to get in touch with their local office to discuss any specific issues they are concerned about.  We are continuing to make grant payments as normal.


  1. National Lottery Distributors have been working together closely to ensure our individual responses and emergency funding design and administration are co-ordinated, responsive to need, remove overlap and duplication where possible, and crucially to make it as easy as possible for organisations facing challenge at this time to access funds they need to survive.


  1. Our approaches are designed to fit alongside the wider package of Government support and work closely with the responses of other organisations and funders in each sector.


  1. The whole National Lottery family is working hard to ensure that National Lottery players are able to understand how their National Lottery ticket purchase is helping to support people and communities at this time.  Recent TV advertising said Thank You to National Lottery players for the £300m that will go into communities across the country to provide support to the most vulnerable, including foodbanks, local health organisations and charities combatting loneliness.  Further digital campaigns are planned.


  1. Even with this unparalleled response package, The National Lottery will not be able to meet all of the needs being identified, either immediately or into the longer term.


The impact of COVID-19 on The National Lottery itself

  1. At the same time, it also needs to be recognised that The National Lottery itself is not immune from impact from COVID-19.  At present, the impact that the pandemic will have on sales of National Lottery tickets, and therefore on money raised for good causes, is unclear.  National Lottery Distributors are working closely with Camelot, Gambling Commission and DCMS to ensure up-to-date financial information, so we can take informed decisions as we need to.