A review into the Channel Islands Christmas Lottery, sparked by ticket sales dropping by around £400,000, has been pushed back.
The review was due to launch in mid-March, but has been delayed as a result of the corona virus pandemic.
According to the 2019 Public Lotteries report, just 561,400, £3 Christmas lottery tickets, were sold in Jersey out of an issue of 720,000.
In total, lottery sales brought in £8,753,100 in 2019, nearly £400,000 less than the previous year (£9,106,650).
Pictured: Around a quarter of the Jersey issue of the lottery tickets went unsold.
The drop was part of a wider trend of declining sales in recent years, leading Guernsey’s Lottery Sub-Committee to commission a review.
Island Global Research (IGR) was due to start work on the review in the middle of March to obtain “valuable feedback” from the general public.
However, it has now been pushed back to next month, as Senior Lottery Officer Jon Taylor explained.
“In view of the immediate worldwide pandemic, a decision was made to postpone this review,” he said. “The online-only survey will now be launched in May.”
Pictured: Last year's lottery sales brought nearly £400,000 less than in 2018.
Over £3m was raised across the islands in 2019 from the general instant games, which is distributed to good causes and community events, such as Liberation Day celebrations and the Guernsey 2021 NatWest International Island Games.
All proceeds derived from the Channel Island Christmas Lottery go to the Association of Guernsey Charities (AGC) for distribution to its members. The 2019 Christmas Lottery raised £183,993 which was exclusively distributed to over 40 charities by the AGC.
Meanwhile the Association of Jersey Charities received £1 million from the profits of the 2018 lottery, nearly half of which had been distributed to local charities by the end of March. This has included a £30,000 grant to St. John Ambulance which will go go towards the position of a new fundraising and communications manager.
The Channel Island Lottery is the oldest government-backed lottery game in the world. As it celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, Mr Taylor said he is confident the survey’s findings will help with preparations for this year’s Christmas Lottery.
“The Christmas Lottery provides essential funding for Guernsey’s charitable sector and therefore we are very keen to make positive changes to the game based on the feedback we receive from the general public,” he explained.
“We hope this will then stimulate interest and raise as much money as possible for those most vulnerable within our community.”
Pictured: St. John Ambulance in Jersey received a £30,000 grant from Lottery funding.
Although the review is yet to be completed, some have already put forward their suggestions for improving the lottery.
Speaking during a debate about climate change, Jersey Deputy Russell Labey suggested that the island buy up a patch of land in Borneo in the shape of Jersey to help protect it while bolstering the island's environmental credentials, adding that the initiative could go hand-in-hand with a lottery rebrand.
"Stick an orangutan on the front of every Christmas Lottery ticket and watch the sales go up because it’s something that people care about and it’s tangible… It’s very very important and I’m making that idea public and I’m hoping somebody might run with it,” Deputy Labey said.
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