Littlewoods is to give scratchcard users an extra 4m in prizes after the introduction of new Government rules on prize payouts and profits.
The Home Office has raised the maximum amount of money that can be taken from ticket sales for prizes by five per cent to 55 per cent.
Littlewoods, which has annual scratchcard sales of about 70m, has vowed to increase its prizes by five per cent for new games – some 4m a year – in line with the changes. Offering 55 per cent in prizes will allow Littlewoods scratchcards to compete directly with the National Lottery Instants, which also offer 55 per cent of ticket sales as prizes.
Under the new rules, which require an amendment to the Lotteries & Amusement Act 1976, charity scratchcard operators are also allowed to increase the amount they take for “expenses” by five per cent to 55 per cent. Expenses include profits as well as the costs of producing and marketing the tickets.
The amount given to good causes and charities will remain constant at 20 per cent. If prize payouts increase, expenses must decrease. Conversely, if the operator wants to increase expenses, it will have to decrease the proportion given for prizes.
Littlewoods says it welcomes the changes but adds: “We are still at a very significant disadvantage to Camelot which has none of the restrictions such as the size of the lottery or the prize funds.