In pretty huge UK gambling news the National Lottery is set to double the price of tickets – the first price rise since the lottery began in 1994. With many poorer households setting aside GBP 1 every week to try their luck at the lottery, the increase to GBP 2 could see them facing a hard time finding the money to continue playing.
With the increasing popularity of UK internet casino, the National Lottery is up against more and more competition, so the call to up the ticket price seems an odd one. More and more young players are turning away from the game, with a mainly ageing population continuing with the state licensed Lotto games.
What’s more, while the lowest prize has more than doubled – matching 3 numbers now nets you GBP 25 instead of GBP 10 – the mid-range prizes have drastically decreased, with prizes for 5 numbers and 5 numbers plus the bonus ball both losing 50% of their value.
With UK gambling law changes on the horizon, introducing a 15% point of consumption tax on online casinos, there is likely to be a shake up in the gambling industry within the country. While massive operators such as William Hill are opposed to the changes – including potentially taking the government to the European Court of Justice over the point of consumption tax – profits on gambling, and sportsbooks in particular, are soaring.
Many see the UK National Lottery as a stealth tax, with 28% going to “good causes” that would otherwise be funded by the government coffers. The biggest winner, however, from this price increase, could be UK charities. Until the change in price, they received more than GBP 30 million a week from the lottery, and with this figure set to double, struggling charities could find themselves in a better situation.