Guernsey

Guernsey scratch cards 'taking advantage' of gamblers

Channel Islands Lottery scratch card Image copyright States of Guernsey
Image caption £190,000 was donated to the Association of Guernsey Charities from the Channel Islands Lottery last year

A Channel Islands authority has been accused of taking advantage of people's gambling problems to boost its revenue.

Deputy Emilie Yerby said the States of Guernsey profited from the sale of Channel Islands Lottery scratch cards, with some shops asking customers if they would like to buy one at the till.

Earlier this month Ms Yerby's motion to debate gambling was rejected.

According to the latest figures, the States of Guernsey made £9.6m from the sale of scratch cards in 2017.

In 2007 the authority generated £822,000, an increase of more than 1,000% in 10 years.

'Element of social responsibility'

Thousands of pounds raised from the Channel Islands Lottery goes towards the running costs of Beau Sejour Leisure Centre in St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Ms Yerby said she thought it was a mistake for the States to depend on lottery cash to pay for one of its core services.

"There's generally a reluctance in the States to debate anything that's going to involve us having to raise money from different sources, or having to raise more money, which inevitably we would have to do to fill the gaps left by the lottery revenue," she said.

"But I do also think there's a real recognition that we have an element of social responsibility when it comes to gambling and we shouldn't be taking advantage of people's difficulties to prop up our own revenues."

Last year Beau Sejour Leisure Centre received £493,000 from the Channel Islands Lottery.

More than £7m was paid out in prize money with another £2m spent on costs and the balance held for future projects.

In January, the States agreed to make a £15,000 payment to the Committee for Home Affairs every year from the lottery to support people experiencing gambling problems.

The BBC has approached the States of Guernsey's Trading Supervisory Board for comment.

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