Lottery ticket sales in Ireland increased last year, with more people now playing online.
Globally, scratch card and lotto ticket sales increased 4% in 2020 to € 918.9 million, according to figures from Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), the operator of the national lottery.
Operating profit reached 14.6 million euros in 2020, compared to 8.9 million euros the previous year.
The increase in profits is due to a number of factors, including increased sales and lower one-time costs, according to Andrew Algeo, managing director of PLI.
About 1.3 million people in Ireland regularly play national lottery games.
Last year, online sales reached 15% of the total, up from 9% in 2019, as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted people’s shopping habits.
About 28 cents of every € 1 spent on national lottery games goes directly to good causes in Ireland.
Last year, 253.6 million euros were raised for worthy causes, and since 2014, when PLI took over the management of the national lottery, more than 1.35 billion euros in funds have been raised.
In 2020, for every euro spent on national lottery games, around 91 cents was returned in the form of prizes, local cause funding and commissions to retailers, with more than 57% of the prize.
Last year was a banner year for national lottery game winners, with € 528.9 million in prizes, up more than 6% from 2019.
Mr Algeo said: “It has been another good year for National Lottery players with a record € 529 million in prizes generated from € 919 million in ticket sales, proof of the steady growth. of the popularity of the national lottery. “
The company said it recently introduced a number of guarantees for gamers, including the phasing out of online credit card payments, the introduction of scratch card purchase limits, and the integration of “advanced tools. monitoring and intervention of players ”.
PLI said € 16 million in historic and expired unclaimed cash prizes were transferred to the Exchequer last year, which the government said would be allocated to health services to support the response to Covid-19 .
Since the start of Covid-19, the National Lottery has extended the period during which winners can collect prizes on all draws from 90 days to 180 days.
In 2014, PLI obtained a 20-year license to operate the national lottery.