Health Lottery raises only half of its £50m charitable fund target

 

Richard Desmond's controversial Health Lottery has raised only half of its charitable funding target a year after it was launched.

The lottery has channelled only £24.5m to local health charities, compared with the £50m projected at its launch in October last year. A spokesperson blamed "a very difficult retail market" which had seen ticket sales reach £119m compared with a projected £250m.

It is also locked in a battle for survival with Camelot, the operator of the multibillion-pound National Lottery, which claims it is losing £1m a week to Mr Desmond's venture. It claims that if other commercial operators were to enter the market it could prove "potentially devastating".

Mr Desmond, the owner of the Daily Express, was celebrating last month after Camelot abandoned legal moves to stop the Health Lottery from operating. But the war between the two for Britain's millions of lottery players is set to continue, with Camelot demanding Government action to close what it describes as a legal "loophole".

The Health Lottery, launched by the media tycoon with £50m last October, is based on 51 local society lotteries which has allowed it to circumvent laws that allow only one single national lottery operator.

In addition to distributing millions of pounds to local health charities, it claims it has helped boost sales for Camelot by 15 per cent.

Health Lottery tickets are sold alongside those for the National Lottery in newsagents and supermarkets but carry a top prize of £100,000 compared with the million-pound jackpots promised by its bigger rival. The Health Lottery gives 20.3 pence of every pound raised to charity, compared with 28 pence for Camelot.

Camelot, which earned £6.5bn from National Lottery sales last year, claimed in the High Court that the Health Lottery had breached rules meant to grant its own competition monopoly status by buying a network of regional lotteries and promoting them nationally in Mr Desmond's media outlets, which include Channel 5.

But the judges rejected its call for a judicial review, arguing that the question of whether the purchase of multiple local lotteries should be allowed was a matter for the Government.

A spokesman for Camelot said: "We are of the firm belief that the Health Lottery is a blatant example of an attempt to commercialise a society lottery on an industrial scale. This is not a personal attack – we have co-existed peacefully with society lotteries for many years. But the Health Lottery sets a dangerous precedent [if] other commercial operators are encouraged to follow. It is imperative the Government now acts to close this loophole."

A spokesperson for the Health Lottery said: "We are flattered if they think we are rivals to a £6.5bn business. It is like comparing Manchester United with my local pub football club. Their desire to crush a business that poses minimal competitive threat to their own is inexplicable."

The Health Lottery will this week launch a midweek draw in addition to its Saturday draw with a £100,000 top prize. A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "We have noted the statement from Camelot and are considering the judgment by the High Court."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Ashdown Group: PHP Web Developer / Website Coordinator (PHP, JavaScript)

£25000 - £28000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: PHP Web...

Recruitment Genius: Estates Projects & Resources Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in London, Manchester, Br...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us