The National Lottery was established in 1987 and was regulated and controlled by the relevant government Minister until the first Regulator was appointed in November 2014.

A comprehensive system of regulatory oversight has been established by the Regulator and a broad range of tools made available to the Regulator have been deployed. The National Lottery is now subject to a greater degree of oversight than ever before, in particular with regard to restrictions on selling to minors. 

Since 2014, there has been steady growth in sales and, as a result, returns to good causes. The retail network has been expanded, to include smaller post offices and retail outlets as well as discounter supermarkets.

The way in which people play National Lottery games has also evolved. While National Lottery tickets continue to be purchased predominantly in the retail setting, today players are more likely to engage with National Lottery games online. The online channel grew slowly initially, then quickly during the pandemic years. In 2022 it represented 16% of sales. The in-store retail shopping experience is also changing for consumers: digital payment methods and self-service interfaces are increasingly popular, while cash, cheques, and paper receipts decline. 

Research on problem gambling, and controls and monitoring to prevent problem gambling and better protect vulnerable players, is evolving all the time. Information on this topic can be found here.

The National Lottery needs to continue to be of interest to the public, or the long-term value and benefits of this State asset will diminish over time. As the National Lottery navigates the new technology and consumer environments, the Regulator’s focus will be on ensuring that appropriate controls and protections continue to be in place so that it remains safe, fair, and robustly regulated as well as relevant to modern society.