Ireland National Lottery operating profit increases by 64% in 2020

By Peter Lynch

Sales of lottery tickets in Ireland increased by 4% to €918.9m ($1.09bn) in 2020, with more people playing online.

Operating profit for Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which has run the National Lottery since 2014, reached €14.6m, a 64% increase from 2019.

The value of prizes has grown by 6% year-on-year, while €253.6m was distributed to good causes.

Around 1.3 million people in Ireland play National Lottery games regularly, with online sales growing from 9% of the total in 2019 to 15% of the total in 2020.

“It was another good year for National Lottery players with a record €529m in prizes generated from €919m of ticket sales, all evidence of the steady growth in the popularity of the National Lottery,” said PLI Chief Executive Andrew Algeo.

The group said that it has introduced a number of player safeguards in recent months, such as scratch card purchase limits, the phasing out of credit card online payments, and the incorporation of advanced player monitoring and intervention tools.

PLI, which holds a 20-year licence to operate the National Lottery, added that €16m of expired, unclaimed prize money was transferred to the Exchequer last year, which according to the Government will be allocated to the health service to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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