The big charity lotteries are giving less money to good causes

Photo: DetailOne via Flickr

The Netherlands’ two biggest charity lotteries have been giving less money to good causes in recent years, broadcaster NOS reported on Friday.

The Postcode Loterij and the Vriendenloterij have both cut the percentage of their income which goes to charity since 2020 when the law was changed to allow them to donate 40% rather than 50% of their income. This was partly at the behest of the companies themselves, NOS said.

Up to 2005, the lotteries had to donate 60% of their income to charity.

The lotteries argue more people will buy tickets if there is more cash available for prizes and that, in turn, will boost the income for charities. Other lotteries, such as the Staatsloterij, can spend up to 80% of their income on prizes and running costs.

While lottery income has risen steadily, in practice, they donated less to charities in 2020 and 2021 than they did in 2019. In 2022 there was a slight increase, but it remains below the 2019 figure.

Since the law was changed, charities have missed out on €140 million, NOS said. And if the old 50% limit was applied, good causes would have had an additional €232 million.

The lotteries say they have had to spend €30 million more a year on “boosting their visibility and on innovation, since the online gambling market was opened up.”

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