Health Lottery 'is a big threat to Team GB's hopes in Rio'

The managing director of the National Lottery has warned of the "very serious threat" posed by Richard Desmond's controversial Health Lottery to Team GB's chances of gold medal success at the Rio Olympics by depriving them of more than £100m in funding.

Andy Duncan told The Independent that the Health Lottery is undermining National Lottery sales and has created a precedent which could reduce by a third the funding for elite sports stars.

"At its heart, the Health Lottery is a very serious threat to National Lottery funds for good causes – that's both the Health Lottery itself and the precedent it sets," he said.

The National Lottery contributed £183m to elite sports for London 2012. Nine in 10 Team GB competitors have benefited from funding derived from ticket sales. But Mr Duncan said that if the National Lottery had been exposed earlier to the competition, British competitors would have had up to £60m less. Camelot estimates that if the lottery sector is thrown open, its contribution to elite sport could fall by £110m in the next four years.

The claims come as David Cameron is set to announce details of an increased contribution to elite sports from the National Lottery. Mr Duncan says it will be increasingly difficult to leverage that funding in ticket sales. He said the Health Lottery was costing the National Lottery £1m a week in sales and reducing contributions to good causes by £20m a year.

Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, is challenging the legality of the Health Lottery's licence, awarded by the Gambling Commission, in the courts.

"We are very clear that we think it's illegal, that it's broken not just the spirit of the law but the letter of the law," said Mr Duncan.

Mr Desmond's venture donates the minimum 20.3p in the pound to good causes, compared with Camelot's 28p. His media company, Northern & Shell, which launched the Health Lottery, disputes Camelot's claim that its lottery has been undermined. N&S argues that Camelot is making healthy profits and that the Health Lottery has "reinvigorated" the National Lottery.

It says that a report commissioned by the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission concluded: "There is no clear evidence that the Health Lottery has taken very significant revenues from the National Lottery or that it poses a threat to the existing society lotteries. It is likely, therefore, to have increased the total amount of money raised by lotteries for good causes."

Without the support of the Health Lottery, which has so far contributed £22m to good causes, several health charities would face an uncertain future, N&S says.

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor