- »Lotterywest Distributes Millions in Covid-19 Relief Fund
Lotterywest Distributes Millions in Covid-19 Relief Fund
Lotterywest offers lottery games to players in Western Australia. It also uses its profits to support grants for local organizations and community efforts. Most recently, Lotterywest distributed nearly $6 million to those needing crisis and emergency relief amidst the coronavirus crisis.
How Lotterywest Operates
Officially an offshoot of the Western Australia government, Lotterywest operates under the Lotteries Commission Act of 1990. It actually held its first lottery, however, in 1933.
Players can buy tickets via newsagents and retailers around Western Australia for scratch-off tickets or the Cash 3 lottery game. Lotterywest also ties into The Lott across Australia for games like Oz Lotto and Powerball, among others.
Revenue from lottery ticket sales first goes to pay prize money to winners and then to pay retailer commissions and Lotterywest operating costs. The rest – approximately one-third of the revenue – goes to the Western Australian community.
Per Lotterywest itself, it has been supporting Western Australia for more than 85 years via “thousands of grants for not-for-profit organisations and local government authorities, as well as health, sports and arts sectors through our statutory funding.”
Before Covid-19, Lotterywest accepted applications for projects around Western Australia and allocated money based on need.
In December 2019 alone, it made distributions ranging from thousands of dollars to millions. For example, it donated $5,950 to the Beeliar Community Voice for a summer festival while putting up more than $4.3 million for the City of Perth to build its Wellington Square Intergenerational Playground. It gave $3,000 to the Combined Probus Club of Winthrop for audiovisual equipment for senior activities and gave nearly $1.8 million to Linear Clinical Research for cancer research.
For the 2018-2019 fiscal year alone, Lotterywest recorded $985 million in sales and returned $736 million of that back to WA via prizes and grants. Of the 682 grants awarded in that year, the breakdown was:
- $144 million = health initiatives
- $102 million = direct to nonprofit organisations and governments
- $18 million = sports opportunities
- $18 million = arts proposals
As Lotterywest began to decide on its quarterly donations in the first few months of 2020, Covid-19 began to spread in Australia. It forced the shutdown of all nonessential businesses, and the society shutdowns left countless WA residents out of work.
By establishing the Lotterywest Covid-19 Relief Fund, it was able to help Western Australians in this unprecedented and vital time.
Specifically, Lotterywest’s fund supports 70 community groups and local government authorities, all impacted by Covid-19. Since it established the fund in late March 2020, it has already delivered $5,976,891 in grants. But working with the WA government, it has assisted in boosting the fund to $159 million and injecting more than $2.3 billion in stimulus and economic relief measures. These included everything from utility bill credits and payroll tax relief.
WA Premier Mark McGowan noted that Lotterywest is the only state-owned lottery in Australia that returns so much of its profits back to the community. “Lotterywest received a record number of funding enquiries as the impacts of Covid-19 were clearly felt throughout the community. The benefits of the $159 million Covid-19 Relief Fund have been uplifting to the community, and I look forward to more grants being announced in the coming weeks,” he said.
Latest Lotterywest Distributions
The latest grants from Lotterywest were distributed on June 5, 2020. The range of need and subsequent grants are exemplified by this list:
- Australian Red Cross Society for Western Australia ($716,645)
- Cystic Fibrosis Western Australia ($19,950)
- Djarindjin Aboriginal Corp. ($43,119)
- Esperance Care Services ($60,000)
- Feed the Little Children ($43,600)
- Goldfields Women’s Refuge ($30,000)
- Hungington’s WA ($12,500)
- New Life Welfare W.A. ($24,000)
- Orana House ($20,000)
- Peel Community Kitchen ($30,000)
- SecondBite ($363,911)
- Shire of Harvey ($66,000)
- Shire of Manjimup ($428,364)
- Shire of Waroona ($36,655)
- South Sudan Community Association of W.A. ($11,500)
- South West Refuge ($13,000)
- Patrick’s Community Support Centre ($214,343)
- Stopping Family Violence ($101,418)
- William Langford Community House ($32,000)
The monies mostly helped communities with immediate needs and hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, whether families needed help after the death of a loved one or lost employment or to help people fleeing from domestic violence situations.
Online Sales in Quarantine Months
Lotterywest had online lottery ticket purchase options in place before the coronavirus pandemic. It really paid off when the pandemic forced most retailers and newsagents to close in mid-March and remain closed for at least three months.
Players can use the online site or the mobile app to purchase lottery tickets with no additional fees. There are no non-lotto games, but there are many ways to play the lotto with everything from systems and random picks to advance play and multi-week lotto picks.
Lotterywest adapted quickly to the Covid crisis, not only with the availability of its products online but by streamlining its resources to help the community.