- »Intralot Recognizes Lotterywest Covid-19 Relief Efforts
Intralot Recognizes Lotterywest Covid-19 Relief Efforts
The coronavirus pandemic has put the entire world to a test. Some try to survive while others try to help. It has been a year of people in need and those who are able helping where they can.
Lotterywest in Western Australia is one that stepped up to help by establishing a fund of $159 million. And Intralot Australia publicly congratulated Lotterywest for its initiative and ongoing support of the communities it serves.
Initial Efforts in a Pandemic
Australia saw its first Covid-19 case in January 2020, but the disease didn’t demonstrate the characteristics of a pandemic for weeks after that. By March, however, the spread and its dangers became clear. Australian government officials, guided by global and national health organizations, closed the borders on March 20 and closed all nonessential businesses quickly thereafter.
By March 30, Lotterywest had teamed up with Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan to establish a Covid-19 relief fund comprised of $159 million.
The lottery provider set aside the first $59 million for crisis and emergency relief support for nonprofit and community organizations. The most immediate needs seemed to be food, clothing, and shelter, but some would also need new equipment and resources.
Further, Lotterywest established a Covid-19 retailer incentive package to take care of partnering retailers. That fund of $17.5 million started with a $30K incentive payment to each of the 500-plus retailers. Lotterywest proceeded to pay that money in three installments of $10K each beginning in April.
In addition, the package for the retailers included the erasure of terminal and services fees for at least six months, beginning in April.
Lotterywest began processing funds on April 8 without any requirements from the retailers.
First Sets of Grant Allocations
McGowan announced the first allocation of grants from the Covid-19 Relief Fund on May 12, which included approvals from March and April. Those totaled $1,098,568 and supported 23 community groups that supported Western Australians during the crisis and provided ongoing emergency relief.
By June 17, the total of grants reached $5,976,891 for 70 groups and organizations.
“The changes to Lotterywest’s grant-making have been significant and essential to help the Western Australian community recover from the effects of Covid-19,” McGowan said. He also noted that there were a record number of funding requests, so more grants would be revealed in the weeks to follow.
Two weeks later, Lotterywest and the government gave $50K to the Lucy Saw Centre with centres in Rockingham and Fremantle. This was a response to a high number of women and children escaping domestic and family violence situations during the coronavirus lockdowns.
Only days after that, they delivered $608K to the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation to help isolated communities during the pandemic. Specifically, the money was to help install and outfit shelter and quarantine facilities for seven East Pilbara communities.
At the same time, Lotterywest worked with Healthway to grant $821K to the Stephen Michael Foundation. The goal was to build and develop a new Strong and Active Communities program to promote health and wellness for young Aboriginal people in the Gascoyne and Murchison regions.
One week after those events, Lotterywest revealed a new slate of grants totaling more than $47.5 million.
This included $26.3 million in “event cancellation relief and resilient organization support” in the form of 381 grants. These funds were meant to help pay staff and develop new ways of moving businesses forward through the ongoing pandemic.
Also, that round included $5.2 million in crisis and emergency relief for 23 nonprofit and local groups.
By the end of July and the close of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, Lotterywest totaled $292 million in community grants, but $38 million of that went to 369 grants as a part of Covid-19 relief and $81 million in direct grants went to another 424 organizations.
More Distributions in New Fiscal Year
In July, Lotterywest and the McGowan government announced $63,500 for two African community organizations. Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia worked to distribute the funds.
As August began, a Covid-related grant of $61,758 went to Perth Inner City Youth Services via Youth Minister Dave Kelly. The money was dedicated mostly to support accommodations and mental health services for at-risk youth.
A grant of $50K went to the Curtin Student Guild to provide crisis food aid packages for international students unable to return home but without means of support.
The Covid-19 Relief Fund supplied $188K to the Indian Society of WA to help with the dozens of requests for assistance daily during the pandemic.
Still in August, Lotterywest granted $60,736 to the Gosnells Women’s Health Service per Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk.
Extending Support to March 2021
On September 15, Lotterywest announced that it will extend the Covid-19 relief funding through March 2021. To that point, they had delivered $67 million, including $10 million for community sports and arts programs, $11.2 million to community support groups, and $26.3 million to support event organizers.
Intralot Australia stepped in to congratulate Lotterywest for its relief fund initiative, calling it a “pandemic-solidarity response fund.” “We look forward to continue working with Lotterywest and enable the lottery with our technology towards fulfilling its purpose in contributing to good causes,” said CEO Dr. Chris Dimitriadis.
Big 2019-2020 Numbers
Sometimes, it boils down to the numbers. And the monies awarded to lottery winners and via community grants speak volumes about Lotterywest and its commitment to Western Australia.
The 2019-2020 numbers were:
- Total sales generated: $959 million
- Prizes and grants: $732 million
- Prize money won: $439 million
- Total grants to WA nonprofits and local governments: 818
- Distributions to WA communities: $292 million
- Nonprofit organization and similar gifts: $118 million
The full list of organizations receiving grants as a part of the Covid-19 Relief Fund is available on the Lotterywest website. The application process is there, too, for those wanting to apply for help during the pandemic, a crisis that appears to be insistent on carrying into 2021.