The National Lottery and Scotland: What Would They Lose by Voting “Yes”?

A “yes” vote for Scottish independence on 18th September could mean that 5.3 million people would lose out on the opportunity to play EuroMillions, Lotto, Thunderball and instant win games. Even worse, tens of thousands of Scottish trusts, charities and initiatives may no longer benefit from the revenue raised by the Good Causes Fund if the country has to stop participating in the National Lottery, which maintains in their terms and conditions that players must be resident in the UK.

The National Lottery and Scotland: What Would They Lose by Voting “Yes”?

The debate over the future of the National Lottery in Scotland has been spurred on by remarks made by MSP John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government. A spokesperson for the Secretary stated in a response to a letter from MSP Nanette Milne that there was “absolutely no reason” that the National Lottery could not continue operating as normal in the event that Scotland voted for independence.

Victoria Jamieson, Head of Engagement at Better Together, which supports a “no” vote, disputed this claim, insisting that “John Swinney cannot say that the National Lottery will continue as is. It is not in his gift to do so.

“If we are not in the UK and not contributing to the good causes pot, how can we expect the UK Lottery to continue providing much needed cash to the groups that need it most?”

She continued on to say that the issue encompassed more than Scots playing lottery games - the loss of funding to charitable trusts, arts groups, environmental projects and community initiatives could be devastating.

The Good Causes Fund has invested £2.6 billion in Scottish initiatives since the inception of the National Lottery in 1994 and 52,487 projects have received some amount of funding. Distributors that benefit Scottish good causes include the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund, Sport Scotland and the British Film Institute. Places such as the National Gallery in Edinburgh, the Falkirk Wheel and the V&A Centre in Dundee exist as they are today due to the money allocated to them by various distributors of lottery revenue.

In an era of tight budgets and unstable economies, organisations that rely on National Lottery revenue may not be able to continue their work in an independent Scotland.

Will Scotland be able to participate in the National Lottery if they vote for independence and leave the UK? We’ll be addressing this vital question next week in a special article on the subject.

For more information about the Good Causes Fund and how it benefits communities across Britain, visit the Good Causes Fund page at

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Article Last Modified: Thursday, 20 April 2023 15:28:50+01:00
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