I believe the decision to sell is a National Travesty. It is not in the interests of the general public. It is unthinking, short-sighted and completely unnecessary.
The Minister does not have to sell The Licence to the highest bidder. He could just renew The License to operate it. We do not need €500 million up front to build the National Children’s Hospital. We could pay for it in stages from the proceeds of one ring-fenced draw. And if there are huge profits to be made from opening up lottery sales online, then those profits should remain in the hands of the Irish people, the people who buy the tickets in the first place.
This blog has been set up as a resource for those of you who want to find out why this decision is wrong and must be changed. If you are a member of the public, you can use this information to pressurise your TD; If you are a TD you can use it to inform your constituents; If you are a journalist you can use it to inform your articles or broadcasts. You don’t have to agree with my arguments, I ask just that you would engage with them so that this sale is not allowed happen below the radar.
The National Lottery is your money -your charity- your dreams- your hopes- your pennies -your causes-your scratch cards- your numbers- your roll overs – YOUR LOTTERY FROM THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POCKETS. And it is going to be sold to the highest bidder from outside the country. If the Government are allowed to go ahead with the sale of The National Lottery Licence, they will be selling your personal money and your personal gamble.
The Government intends to change legislation to allow them to bring all this highest bidder and selling about. Since legislation on the sale of The National Lottery Licence is about to come through The Dail and The Seanad, this Blog will act as a National Challenge to that decision.
I need your help to stop the sale. Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell, 2013.
Last year The National Lottery celebrated its 25th birthday. Over that 25 years, more than 12 billion euro has been spent on tickets, over 6 billion euro has been won in prizes, and over 4 billion euro has been shared out for good causes.
It has been the greatest success story. But now the Minister wants to sell the licence. For 500 million euro. Which begs a very simple question.
Why would someone give the Minister 500 million up front for
The Irish Lottery Licence?
And the answer?
Because they expect to make that 500 million and a lot more besides, back.
There is no other reason.
And from whose pockets will that money be made? Ours!
We cannot allow this to happen.
The Minister says we need the €500 million now, up front, so that we can pay for the new Children’s Hospital.
I say we don’t.
We could just as easily pay for the Hospital bit by bit, from Lottery proceeds. We could even ring-fence a specific game or draw- The Wednesday Lotto, to pay for The Hospital.
We don’t need to sell the Licence and lose control over our National Lottery in order to have a National Children’s Hospital.