NEWS RELEASE: NATIONAL LOTTERY BILL DOES NOT DELIVER ON GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO LOCAL SHOPS: RGDATA
RGDATA, the trade association representing the owners of 4,000 shops many of whom are National Lottery Agents, has called on Minister Brendan Howlin to include his commitment to ring fence the modest margin paid to retail agents in the new Bill which was published in draft format last night.
The National Lottery Bill 2012 published late on Thursday evening contains a commitment to ring fence 50% of all National Lottery ticket sales monies for prize money. However it does not contain any specifics about the margin to be paid to retail agents.
"RGDATA was assured by Minister Howlin and his officials that the modest margin paid to retail agents – who after all have played a significant role in making the Irish National Lottery the success that it is – would be ring fenced in this new legislation. This Bill paves the way to allow the Government to sell the National Lottery licence off to make a significant upfront payment to the State. RGDATA has reviewed the Draft Bill and we are deeply disappointed to see that it does not specify anything in relation to the modest margin paid to retail agents," said RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley.
"Minister Howlin and his officials assured RGDATA earlier this year that he understood the challenges facing local shops and that he would ensure that the modest 6% payment for Lottery retail agents would not be squeezed by any new National Lottery licence holder. Local shops cannot afford any further reduction in margins – they are struggling for survival. RGDATA members provide a vital community service, they have played a significant role in building the Lottery to the successful jewel in the crown that it is. They deserve to retain the modest 6% margin that they receive for their services in promoting, selling and managing the retail element of Lottery sales."
RGDATA is writing to Minister Howlin seeking his assurances that the Bill will be amended to include the commitment that he made to ring fence the retail margin.