Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero and more than 30 Labour colleagues have co-signed a letter to the CEO of lottery operator Camelot calling for the publication of how many lottery tickets are bought in each Parliamentary constituency.
The politicians say that people living in the former industrial heartlands like Ashfield are not getting their fair share of lottery grants.
They suspect that more lottery tickets and scratch cards are bought in constituencies like theirs than cities, which receive the most lottery funding, as was found by research carried out by a thinktank in 2009.
They say this means people living in towns are “actually subsidising the funding of projects in cities, while their own local areas miss out.”
They also want Camelot CEO Nigel Railton to commit to doing more to close the gap between places that receive the most and least lottery funding, by putting pressure on the lottery distribution boards to even out funding discrepancies.
In their letter, the MPs said: “We are of the opinion that Camelot needs to do much more work to close this gap, proactively reaching out to these areas receiving less grants in order to raise awareness of the availability of lottery funding, and to encourage people and organisations to apply for it – especially where the presence of arts, culture, charitable and tourism bodies is not as prominent or developed.”
Gloria, who is spearheading the campaign, has obtained figures from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on where lottery funding is allocated.
They show how the UK’s big cities dominate the top 10 constituencies for receiving the cash, with central London receiving far more money than any other area.
In 2015/16, Ashfield received just £744,833 of lottery cash, whereas two of the three Nottingham constituencies each got several million, with Nottingham East getting £5.2m and Nottingham South £3.5m in the same year.
Gloria said: “It is a disgrace that the distribution of lottery funding is so biased towards the country’s big cities.
“Much-needed cash is not reaching the communities that need it and Camelot, as the operator of the Lottery, should be doing more to even out the discrepancies, as should the organisations which award the money.
“Seeing where lottery tickets are bought would be a big step towards this, as it would show the extent to which areas like Ashfield are missing out.”