National Lottery Bill, 1986: Second Stage.

I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".

The purpose of this Bill is to give effect to the Government's undertaking to establish a national lottery first set out in their White PaperBuilding on Reality in October 1984.

The establishment in Ireland of a national lottery is not, in international terms, a very unusual step. State lotteries exist today in over 80 countries with widely different economic, cultural and religious characteristics. Countries as varied in political and economic terms as the United States, Australia, Sweden, Ghana, New Zealand, Brazil and China all have successful State lotteries. Among our partners in the European Communities, State or national lotteries are established in the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. Britain of course has its football pools.

Lotteries were first established in the fifteenth century in the Flanders cities of Ghent, Utrecht and Bruges, followed in the sixteenth century by lotteries in Genoa and other Italian cities and in France. America's involvement with lotteries dates from the earliest colonial period. The American Revolution was funded in part by a lottery begun in 1776 to support the colonial army and, in the 50 years before the civil war, many universities, including Yale, Princeton and Harvard, were aided by lotteries. The resurgence in lotteries in the United States began in 1964 with the establishment of the New Hampshire State Lottery. At present some 22 States of the Union, including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia, operate State lotteries.

The function of the lottery will be to generate surplus funds that will benefit our community in a number of ways, without the need for recourse to taxation or other compulsory revenue raising measures. Its surplus will be generated through the purchase of tickets by those who wish of their own accord to participate in the national lottery, and not through any increase in the tax burden. In the other countries I have mentioned, lottery proceeds are applied to a variety of purposes including sport, health care, the arts and other cultural activities. State lotteries are therefore a widespread and advantageous phenomenon. The countries I have mentioned are not less sensible than ourselves and would not operate official lotteries were they not profitable, socially useful and popular.

As the Government have already announced, the lottery's surplus will be spent on sport and recreational facilities, national culture including the Irish language, the arts and health. I would like to draw the attention of the House also to other benefits which will accrue through the operation of the lottery. There will be, in the medium term, the creation of between 40 and 50 jobs in the national lottery company itself, with further spin-off benefits in increased business activity for the national lottery's suppliers and the sales commission which will be payable to ticket sales agents.

Since, also, it is envisaged that at least 40 per cent of the lottery's gross receipts will be returned in prize moneys, it is reasonable to take account of the benefits the lottery will confer in varying degrees on the future prize winners.

Before I come to the Bill itself I would like to outline the considerations which determined the general thrust and shape of the legislation. Public trust and confidence is of crucial importance in the operation of State lotteries. Such trust can only be secured and held by comprehensive legislative provision which demonstrably protects the public interest and guards the integrity of a national lottery on behalf of the prospective participants. It is accordingly appropriate that the legislation should provide for the award by the Minister for Finance of a licence to operate the national lottery to a body in which he can be satisfied that the public interest can be safeguarded. The legislation is of course presented in general terms to award the licence to an appropriate body. It would clearly not be appropriate to prescribe the body to be awarded the licence in the Act. This would be unduly restrictive. As the House is aware, after due consideration of the matter the Government decided to award a licence to operate the national lottery to a subsidiary of An Post, which I believe is admirably equipped in terms of its resources, commitment, and marketing acumen to discharge this new function.

I wish now to turn to the question of the impact of the national lottery on those existing lotteries operated by voluntary and charitable organisations. The Government when announcing the national lottery indicated that consideration would be given to measures, including changes in the existing legislation governing prizes, designed to ensure that the activities of existing lotteries could continue. The Minister for Finance, in his budget speech of 29 January 1986, reiterated that the Government's intention to ensure that the good work funded by existing charitable and other voluntary lotteries which operate nationally does not suffer as a result of the national lottery.

Extensive discussions have taken place with those voluntary organisations, charities or umbrella groups that had earlier expressed disquiet at the possible adverse effects of the national lottery. Provisions have been included in the Bill to protect and enhance the position of existing charitable and voluntary lotteries.

I would now like to outline the provisions of the Bill in the light of what I have said about the Government's approach to this legislation. Section I defines the terms used in the Bill; "national lottery" is defined as any lottery game or combination of games held by the Minister, or under licence on his behalf, in accordance with rules contained in a scheme approved by the Minister under section 29. Section 2 enables the Minister to hold or procure the holding of the national lottery. Section 3 sets out the mode of procurement. The Minister may grant a licence to any legal person authorising the holding of the national lottery on his behalf. The Minister may attach terms and conditions to the licence and may amend such terms and conditions. The licence which can be revoked at any time by the Minister, must be expressed to authorise a company within the meaning of the Companies Acts to hold the national lottery on the Minister's behalf. The company so authorised may itself be the licensee or a subsidiary of the licensee. Moreover, section 10 provides that the sole objects of the authorised company must be the holding of the national lottery pursuant to the licence granted and "the doing of all other things as are incidental or conducive to the holding of the lottery". These provisions mean that, whoever gets the licence, the lottery will be operated by a company established for no other purpose and to which the relevant regulatory and other provisions of this Bill can apply without fear of ambiguity or unclear division of responsibility or obligation. In the event, as I have already stated, the Government intend that a subsidiary of An Post will receive the licence and will itself be the authorised company within the terms of the licence.

Section 4 provides that the total value of the prizes to be distributed by the national lottery must not be less than 40 per cent of the total amount received in respect of national lottery ticket sales in any financial year of the authorised company. The number, form and value of prizes are to be determined by the company. Section 5 provides that the surplus accruing to the Exchequer from the operation of the national lottery will be applied to such general purposes as the Government may determine from time to time. Whenever such a purpose is determined, notice must be published inIris Oifigiúil.

As I have said already, the Government have decided that the surplus of the lottery is to be applied to the benefit of sport and recreational facilities, national culture including the Irish language, the arts and health. These will be the first purposes under this section to be listed inIris Oifigiúil. It would be possible to specify such purposes in the Bill but the Government consider that this approach lacks flexibility; for example, the provision of national lottery resources to some area not included in the list I have just mentioned would have to await amending legislation.

It is intended that, when the national lottery is operational, specific allocations to bodies or organisations in these areas will be decided on by the Government and made available through the normal Estimates process, in separately identifiable subheads. For example, a body in the area of sport which wanted to be considered for funding from the lottery would state its case to the responsible Government Department, the Department of Education in this instance, when this Bill is enacted. Similarly other bodies in the areas of national culture, the arts or health would state a similar case to the relevant Department. All such requests will be evaluated against estimates of the lottery's proceeds in each year, and the appropriate provision made in the Votes concerned.

There will have to be safeguards in these procedures against over-expenditure since, in the early years of the lottery, it will be difficult to form an accurate prediction of the lottery's net proceeds. It will be the Government's intention to devote all of the net proceeds of the lottery to the purposes indicated. The process of distribution cannot, however, begin until there are proceeds to distribute; there will, of course, be no proceeds until this Bill is enacted and the lottery licence awarded. I have not here referred to the allocation of any of the lottery's proceeds to charitable or voluntary bodies whose own lotteries may be adversely affected by the operation of the national lottery. I will deal with this question later in the context of the amendments contained in the Bill to the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956.

Section 6 provides for the appointment by the Minister of an independent scrutineer who will examine on the Minister's behalf the operation of the national lottery in order to ensure its integrity and to guard against fraud. The scrutineer is not intended as a substitute for or aide to the auditor who will in the normal course under the Companies Acts audit the balance sheet and accounts of the authorised company. His function will be to act as the Minister's and the community's watchdog over the operation of the national lottery to ensure its correct and proper functioning.

Section 7 provides for the appointment by the authorised company of ticket sales agents on such terms as the company may determine with the consent of the Minister. Lottery tickets may be sold only by the company or by their sales agents and not be sold to anyone under the age of 18 years. The purchase of tickets on behalf of those under 18 years, for example as presents, is not, however, to be prohibited. Section 7 also makes it an offence for certain categories of person, for example, directors or employees of the authorised company, to own a national lottery ticket.

Section 8 provides for the establishment under the Minister's management and control of a national lottery fund at the Central Bank. All lottery receipts, with the exception of sales agents' commission and any "instant" prizes payable in any lottery game at point of sale, will be paid into the fund from which the authorised company's remuneration and operating expenses will be paid. Prize moneys will also be paid periodicallyen bloc from the fund to the company for distribution. Surplus moneys in the fund are to be remitted at least annually to the Central Fund.

Section 9 provides for payment of remuneration due to the licensee from the fund. Sections 11 and 12 provide that the memorandum and articles of association of the authorised company must be consistent with the Act and subject to the approval of the Minister. Section 13 provides that the Minister's prior approval to any change in the authorised company's memorandum or articles of association must be obtained by the company.

Section 14 provides that the number of directors of the authorised company shall be seven including the chairman and sets out their mode of appointment. The Government envisage that An Post will in the terms of this section nominate four of the seven directors of An Post's subsidiary, including the chairman, with the consent of the Minister, who will nominate the remaining three directors.

Section 15 provides for the remuneration and other terms and conditions of service of the staff of the authorised company.

Section 16 provides that, where a director of the authorised company is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann or is elected to either of the Houses of the Oireachtas or to the Assembly of the European Communities, he shall thereupon cease to be a director of the company. Where a member of the staff of the company is so nominated or elected he shall stand seconded from employment by the company.

A person entitled to sit in either House of the Oireachtas or who is a member of the Assembly of the European Communities is disqualified from becoming a member of the staff of the company. This is a standard provision.

Section 17 enables the authorised company to borrow money with the consent of the Minister. Section 18 provides that, where the authorised company acquires an interest in any property funded in whole or in part from the proceeds of the national lottery, they shall hold such property in trust for the State and must surrender that interest to the Minister or to another specified State agency, if the Minister so requests or if the licence under which the company hold the national lottery expires or is revoked.

Section 19 provides for the keeping of accounts by the authorised company, and for the laying of the company's accounts and the directors' report to the shareholders before each House of the Oireachtas. Section 20 provides for the submission to the Minister by the authorised company of a report on their activities during the year. This report will be complementary to the accounts and other documentation provided for in section 19. Section 21 enables the Minister to take up or purchase shares in the authorised company, subject to a maximum of 20 per cent of the total nominal value of the issued shares of the company.

Section 22 authorises the Minister to sell or otherwise dispose of any shares in the company vested in him. Section 23 enables the Minister to exercise all rights and powers exercisable in relation to any shares held by him. Section 24 provides that any shares in the authorised company held by or in trust for any other person shall not be disposed of without the consent of the Minister.

Section 25 provides that an issue of shares of the authorised company shall not be made without the Minister's approval. Section 26 provides that all dividends and other moneys received by the Minister in respect of the authorised company shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer.

Section 27 provides that every director of the authorised company, other than such directors as may be agreed on between the Minister and the licensee, shall hold his shares in trust for the Minister. Provision is also made for the transfer of one or more shares to a person appointed, or about to be appointed, a director of the company. Section 28 deals with the vesting in the Minister of certain shares held by directors or shareholders upon retirement or death.

Section 29 provides that a scheme of rules in respect of each lottery game in the national lottery must be prepared by the authorised company for approval by the Minister. Only those games in respect of which such a scheme has been provided by the company and approved by the Minister can be operated by the company.

Section 30 enables the Minister to issue such directions as he considers necessary or expedient in the public interest to the authorised company. Section 31 enables the Minister to require any shareholder in the authorised company to assign his shares to the Minister or to another specified person where the Minister revokes the licence under which the company were authorised to hold the national lottery. It also provides for the appointment by the Minister if he so thinks fit at any time of a manager who would, in terms of the section, take over the management of the authorised company as a going concern.

Section 32 confines the use of the names "national lottery" or "Irish National Lottery" to the Minister, the licensee, the authorised company or a person so authorised by any of these. A person who uses these terms unlawfully will be guilty of an offence. Section 33 exempts the national lottery from the provisions of the Gaming and Lotteries Acts, 1956 to 1979.

Section 34 authorises the Minister for Justice to amend by regulations sections 27 and 28 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956, by altering the prize limits specified in subsections (2) (b) and (4) of section 27 and subsection (2) (c) of section 28 of that Act. Lotteries held pursuant to sections 27 and 28 are also exempted from the provisions of section 22 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956, in relation to advertising. I shall return to this provision in a moment.

Section 35 enables the Minister to make regulations to give full effect to the provisions of the Bill or, for a period of two years after its enactment, regulations to do anything which appears to him to be expedient for bringing the Bill's provisions into operation, including the modification of any such provisions. Sections 36 and 37 are standard provisions dealing with, respectively, the expenses of the Minister and the Bill's short title and citation.

As Deputies will be aware, the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956, imposes prize limits of £300 or £500 on lotteries operated under permit from the Garda Síochána or under licence from the District Court. Section 34 of the National Lottery Bill provides that these prize limits may be amended by regulation by the Minister for Justice. It is the intention that the prize limits in question will be amended upwards at least to reflect changed purchasing power since 1956. The Government recognise the need to introduce these changes not later than the start-up of the national lottery and accordingly the effective date of such an amendment will be not later than the start-up date for the national lottery. The purpose of this is to enable lotteries under Garda permit or District Court licence to compete on a reasonable footing with the national lottery and thereby to ensure the continuation of this form of fund raising for voluntary and charitable organisations.

Section 34 of the Bill also provides that the prohibition of advertising contained in section 22 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956, will not apply to lotteries operated under Garda permit or District Court licence. The Government accept that, even with increased prize limits, the continuation of this restriction on the types of lotteries I have mentioned would be unduly onerous in circumstances where the national lottery, with its attendant publicity, was operational.

The Government believe that these measures will enable the lotteries in question to operate successfully after the start of the national lottery. It is not, of course, the Government's intention that the national lottery should supplant or replace the present fund raising activities of voluntary and charitable bodies. The loyalty of subscribers and participants in existing permitted or licensed lotteries will ensure that these are still a substantial source of funding for the voluntary and charitable organisations concerned. I believe that the start of the national lottery will in no way diminish this loyalty, which is rooted in a deep appreciation of the excellent work which charitable and voluntary bodies undertake in our community.

In the event that, despite these measures, it can be shown that the net income to charitable and voluntary bodies from the lotteries they operate has declined as a direct consequence of the activities of the national lottery, I can assure the House that the Government will be sympathetic to their situation in deciding on the allocation of the national lottery's proceeds.

I would like to conclude by reiterating that the national lottery will be a means to an end, not an end in itself, and that its ultimate purpose is to provide funding in support of very desirable social and cultural activities. I therefore commend the Bill to the House.

We are opposed to this Bill and, having listened to the Minister's statement, our grounds for opposition are strengthened rather than weakened. We are opposed to it for a variety of reasons and I will develop these points later but I should like to indicate now our three main reasons for opposing it. First, we are opposed to it because the Bill gives the Government power to subsume into the Exchequer for such purposes as the Government may determine from time to time the proceeds of this lottery. We are not prepared to accept that. We are opposed to it secondly because, despite the intention indicated to give the licence to a subsidiary of An Post, the Government have deliberately decided not to specify An Post in the legislation. We are opposed to it thirdly on the grounds that the effect it will have on voluntary organisations has not been taken into account by the Government. General statements of intent, good intentions and recognition of their role are a totally inadequate response from the Government in the face of the impact which the lottery can have on their activities.

The Minister said at the end of his speech that the ultimate purpose of the Bill is to provide funding in support of very desirable social and cultural activities. He said that it would be a means to an end and not an end in itself. Having listened to the Minister and read the Bill, it is obvious that it is a means to an end — to get other substantial contributions to the Exchequer without any specific commitment to the public who will be contributing as to how that money will be spent. That is not acceptable to this side of the House and I daresay that it is not acceptable to a vast number of Deputies on all sides of the House. I hope I will not embarrass Deputy Creed, a former Minister of State, by referring to his constant interest in this matter and who clearly indicated his priority, shared by all of us in terms of the major target for this lottery, namely, sporting activities.

The Government saw fit to include a short chapter on sport when they made specific reference for the first time to the decision to have a national lottery. It is a very short chapter but it clearly indicates that the national lottery is being promoted mainly for the purpose of sport. It says that the Government are anxious that, despite the difficult financial situation, additional funding should be provided for sport and have decided that a national lottery should be established, part of the proceedings of which will be allocated to the promotion of sport. Successive lotteries in other countries indicate that substantial amounts could be raised from a national lottery here. I know they said that part of the proceedings would be provided for the promotion of sport but the general expectation was that the main target — not the exclusive one — would be sport, sporting and recreational facilities and so on.

That was not just the general expectation as a consequence of the decisions and the effective action taken by the former Minister of State who promoted this idea and got a magnificent response from sporting organisations. I am sure he would acknowledge that his predecessor, Deputy Tunney, launched this idea of sporting and recreational facilities when he was Minister of State at the Department of Education. On that basis, there would be a consensus in the House that a lottery which was promoted for those purposes generally, if not exclusively, would be supported but that is not in the Bill. That is why we are not prepared to have a lottery on a lottery, to have a gamble on what the Government might do. We are not prepared to give that kind of endorsement by way of a risk that the proceeds of the national lottery will not be applied for the purposes for which they were originally intended.

We are all interested in the history of lotteries from the l5th century in Ghent, Utrecht and Bruges. The Government should also have indicated how much they expect to get from this lottery, what their target is and how they propose to reach it. Figures of £50 million, £60 million and £70 million have been mentioned. They are substantial amounts and the Government should indicate what proceeds they have in mind.

Section 5 (1) states:

Moneys paid into the Central Fund pursuant to section 8 of this Act shall be applied for such general purposes, and such amounts of those moneys shall be applied for each such purpose, as the Government may determine from time to time.

Subsection (3) says that amounts required for a purpose determined under this section shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas. In effect, as the Minister confirmed, the amounts provided will be provided in the normal course of departmental expenditure sanctioned by this House. They will be for education, sport, foreign affairs, social welfare, labour, environment and, significantly — and I stress this — health.

Health suddenly features as a major target. Nobody in this House would object to having adequate provision for our health services. Everybody, despite how they may vote on the day — with the exception of the Minister for Health — acknowledges that our health services are totally inadequate. They also acknowledge that in this area we are talking about a huge commitment in public expenditure. Because of that, if there were never a lottery, the Government have a fundamental obligation to provide adequate health services, and this is not being done at the moment.

The Government who have presented this Bill must think we are very naive if they think we will be satisfied with a Bill that gives the Government power to apply the funds for such purposes as they determine. The Minister says the function of the lottery is to generate surplus funds that will benefit our community in a number of ways without the need for recourse to taxation or other compulsory revenue raising measures. Of course it will benefit the community. None of the ways in which the Government normally spend money is of anything other than benefit to the community. We hardly spend money to the detriment of the community. In some cases it may be spent to no advantage but I will not go into an economic debate. The fact that this money will benefit the community does not justify setting up a lottery.

Now we come to the significant area. The Minister says: "As the Government have already announced "— and the Government have announced no such thing because I have not seen it anywhere else until this morning —"the lottery's surplus will be spent on sport and recreational facilities, national culture including the Irish language, the arts and health." It is quite clear that the Government and the Minister for Finance have actually determined already that an undefined amount of this money will go directly to the Exchequer, for example, health. It is equally clear from the Bill, which is the only thing this House is concerned about, and which will be law if it is passed in this House, that the money can go for any purpose determined by the Government from time to time. The Minister must think this House very naive if he thinks it will give this Government or any Government such all embracing powers on the basis of general statements of intent from the Minister of State introducing the Bill. That is not our role here.

There has been a lot of rubber stamping in this Dáil for some considerable time, much of it recently. The fact that we are taking this Bill at this late stage in this session is more evidence of rubber stamping. To the extent that we can, now and on Committee Stage, we will not only tease out these issues but will try to ensure that by amendment this Bill will not give effect to what is proposed, that the money will be used for whatever purpose the Government may determine from time to time. That we will not allow. If the Government want to push it through with the numbers they have despite the opinions expressed, counting the votes as usual, then let it be seen to be done. But it will not be done with our consent.

I had a notion that we would get an indication from the Minister in the course of the introduction to the Second Stage debate that he would meet directly some of the reservations we had expressed on reading this. But that has not happened. I am not saying I blame the Minister of State in the House for that. The Minister for Finance is not in the House. I am not implying any criticism of the Minister of State who is in the House; he certainly had a very distinguished record in the office he held before this and I would not suggest that he will not have a distinguished record in this office either. But he is not the man responsible for Finance.

When the Government are talking about raising extra revenue of the order of £60 million and £70 million and how it is to be done and the purposes for which it will be spent, I wonder why the Minister for Finance has not got the time to at least come in and introduce it to us and answer our questions. Deputy O'Rourke and I do not have the benefit of any public servants to back us up. Each of us, as spokesperson, has the benefit of just one typist. If having gone through a fairly gruelling session involving the Finance Bill and other legislation on Finance, we can find the time to come into this House and leave our constituencies and other considerations, the least we are entitled to expect is that the Minister for Finance. himself, who has the back up of a huge Department and a personal office and all that goes with it, should be able to spare the time to come into the Oireachtas of this nation and explain and answer.

Now I come to the details and I will concentrate on the Bill. Section 5 gives the Government such all embracing powers that we could not possibly accept them and that is all that is provided in this legislation as to the purpose of this lottery. It enables the Government in the most wide fashion to apply the money "for each such purpose as the Government may determine from time to time". We insist — and we are putting down an amendment to this effect — that the purpose for which the surpluses from the lottery will be applied should be specified and limited. We will not allow it to be carried through this House as if it were a lottery for sport or whatever else when it can be used after it has been passed through here for such purposes as the Government may determine from time to time.

I ask the Minister if there was a change of mind on the part of the Government in this discussion either at Cabinet level or any other level? Did something happen in the course of discussions at Government level to cause the Government and the Minister for Finance and those elements of the Government who could see the current financial crisis we are in to announce certain things and then decide to change them to enable them to take as much as they want for general Exchequer purposes? The Minister mentioned sports, art and culture and the Irish language and they can also throw in others, for example health but, effectively, if this House is naive enough, the Government know they can use it for whatever purpose they like, throwing a few million pounds here and a few million pounds there. This is not the way to treat this House. It is certainly not a way that we are prepared to endorse. Unlike other Bills which are amending legislation, this is a new Bill. One sample of an amending Bill is the awful Finance Bill introduced every year in the most outrageous gobbledygook, to the point that nobody understands even a paragraph of it now. This is a new Bill, starting from day one. It could have said precisely what it wants to achieve without any qualification, confusion or doubt. It did quite the opposite, however. There is another section which adds to the confusion. At the end of the Bill we come to section 35, which is an unprecedented section. I have certainly never had experience of a section quite like that. Subsection (2) of that section states:

If in any respect any difficulty arises in bringing this Act into operation, the Minister may by regulations do anything which appears to him to be necessary or expedient for bringing this Act into operation and any such regulations may modify the provisions of this Act so far as may appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for carrying the regulations into effect.

That we might be able to go along with but subsection (3) continues:

No regulation may be made under subsection (2) of this section after the expiration of two years after the passing of this Act.

The Government are bringing in legislation which will give themcarte blanche to expend money for whatever purpose they wish, allowing for all their general pious statements of intent. Having demeaned the House by that kind of approach, there are 35 sections of the Bill which are to be discussed and eventually passed by a majority vote — although I wonder if all who consent have any idea of what is involved. They then put in a section at the end which says that, despite what is in the Act, the Minister for Finance may, by order, not just implement it but for the first time, by order, change the Act. He is taking the responsibility, right, jurisdiction and authority to change the legislation. That is exactly what this section says. It is totally outrageous. There is no point in our being told about good intentions, because most of us have a fair bit of experience on both sides of the House — I am at this point celebrating my 21st year here. I am not prepared to accept from any Government, and particularly the present one, those general intentions which are not enshrined in legislation, particularly legislation which allows them to cancel out the whole Bill for whatever purposes they wish.

There is no specific reference to An Post, although the Minister this morning made a passing reference. He does not indicate the reason for the omission, but we must be treated as mature people. The legislation is presented in general terms, to award the licence to an appropriate body. He goes on:

It would clearly not be appropriate to prescribe the body to be awarded the licence in the Act. This would be unduly restrictive.

If ever there was anon sequitur, this is it. If the body is known, accepted and identified as An Post, or a subsidiary of An Post, why is it unduly restrictive to nominate this semi-State body? This is done regularly in legislation. Are we saying that to identify the company we have agreed should manage the lottery would be restrictive? Would the Minister please explain that? There is no precedent or basis for that; it is crazy. I do not understand how that could have been drafted. One can, of course, nominate An Post; there is no question about that. If one wants to change that after a period of one or two years, then one can come back to this House and propose a two line amendment to the Dáil — which has, after all, a function — to delete the reference to An Post, or its subsidiary. At least at that point the House could argue the issue of whether it would agree to deleting the reference to An Post and transferring the responsibility to some other body.

If the Government want An Post to deal with the lottery, let them be named in the Bill. We are not prepared to give our consent to legislation which enables the Minister for Finance to authorise any person to take that responsibility. I can think of a variety of persons who might be well favoured by the Government for a variety of reasons. We are certainly not prepared to give our assent to the possibility of any such person being granted a licence.

Section 3 (i) makes the position very clear:

(a) The Minister may grant a licence to a person authorising the holding on behalf of the Minister of the National Lottery.

(b) Not more than one licence under this subsection shall be in force at any time.

We are not prepared to consent to that. For too long we have heard such general statements of intent from all Governments, but particularly from the present one. One need only look atBuilding On Reality to see what it represents in terms of reality, particularly the section which concerns sport. Are we seriously expected to take as binding statements of general intention from a Government who have proved themselves particularly adept at subsuming into the Exchequer whatever they can to make up for the very obvious shortfall? What about the youth employment levy, the income levy and all the impositions for particular purposes? We had no legislation in connection with these. What happened to them subsequently? They were all introduced to get other sources of revenue for the Government. Clearly, this is the intention here. There is no breakdown of the sums involved. We are merely told that 40 per cent, at least, must go in prizes. Fair enough, but that leaves 60 per cent — and 60 per cent of what? We do not know and will not be told. How is it proposed to break up the 60 per cent? We do not know and will not be told, nor how it will be spent.

I turn to my final reservation, speaking on behalf of my party and Deputy O'Rourke will deal with aspects of this in greater detail. Could the Minister indicate as far as the other voluntary organisations are concerned which are affected by this legislation, why is it not possible to make specific provisions in the legislation with regard to them — and such bodies, particularly dealing with the mentally handicapped, have made submissions to the Minister for Finance, copies of which I have — for the protection of the funds of these organisations? This can be done in a variety of ways.

I might suggest that some of these organisations could be given rights as sales agents exclusively in certain areas, where they guarantee commission. That would mean that what they would lose in respect of the impact of the lottery on their fund-raising they could gain back as authorised sales agents. I have a feeling that that intention was originally canvassed at Government. It was necessary to make provision for the voluntary organisations and they should be included in some specific provision in this legislation. One of the ideas canvassed was what I just suggested, that they would be given the right as sales and commission agents and they could recoup through the commission on the lottery what they would otherwise lose. That, too, has been defeated.

The Government have changed their minds. There is no provision for the voluntary organisations. It is not just enough for the Minister to make general statements in terms of acknowledging the role they have and the loyalty people have to them and hoping and expressing the intention that things will continue to work out well for them. There must be specific regulation and provision for them. I would like the Minister to indicate what those provisions will be before we can give our consent even to that part of it. To be sympathetic to them is not enough. They do not deserve just our sympathy. They deserve our total support for the magnificent work which they have done. We want to ascertain from the Minister why no specific provision is made.

A national lottery is something that this party not only supports: this party originally promoted the idea. I am not taking any credit from Deputy Creed. He has taken the matter much further and brought it to the point where we were able to say we would be in agreement on this. We are not opposed to the concept of a national lottery properly regulated. I agree with all that is said about regulating it in a society which has become too prone to gambling and the consequent damage to society. We have no problems about the national lottery. We are not prepared to accept this Bill which does not give effect to the intention that we all had expressed. The three main points which I have set out are our main reasons for reservations. We will be putting down amendments, no matter how short the time will be, for a proper discussion on this. I hope that the Government will have a change of mind and realise that if they want to achieve a common purpose it should be specified in the Bill.

The economy is a matter of vital importance. Revenue is a matter of vital importance. I would be the last one to say that it is not. Adequate tax and expenditure are matters of vital importance, as is health. Those are matters for general Government policy where, without going into it, this Government have demonstratively failed. The statement by the Minister for Finance yesterday showed that the national debt was £21.1 billion at the end of March this year. We all recognise that there is a crisis. There is disaster as regards Government finances. The national lottery was never intended simply to get more money in for that purpose. All of us assume that it was meant for specific purposes and these purposes are not being recognised in this Bill. If they are, by way of amendment, we will be glad to accept it.

I rise to speak on this Bill with some mixed feelings and, to say the least, some reservations. The Bill is introduced in the House. I think the Bill can be improved on Committee Stage. I hope that the Minister, the Government and the Minister for Finance will take note of some of the points which I and, I am sure, other Members of the House would like to make. I notice that on an occasion like this some people are inclined to claim credit for the introduction of a lottery and for the introduction of this Bill which is being discussed in this House.

I want to deal with the background to this lottery. Deputy Tunney, Deputy Creed or the Government are not responsible for it. A submission was presented to the then Minister of State with responsibility for sport, Deputy Tunney, in 1979. I do not know of any proposal which had a longer incubation period than this one. That submission was made in the form of a sports lottery. This was received not alone by Cospóir, the National Sports Council, but by every governing body of sport, and by every sporting organisation and club throughout the country as a major step forward in providing what would be regarded as a regular funding mechanism for sporting organisations. That rested in that Department until early 1983. Some of us who were then charged with responsibility, with the support and the advice of the National Sports Council, thought it was a good idea and worthy of further consideration. We tried to make an effort to bring it to fruition. Some of us at that stage were naive enough to think that a lottery, the major portion of which — and this is my main crib — would be devoted to sport and sporting organisations, could be introduced in a year which was very relevant, particularly in relation to sport, 1984. It was the centenary of the Gaelic Athletic Association which was well celebrated and well supported throughout the country. I felt that a lottery, if it was ready to be introduced on that occasion with a major portion of the proceeds being devoted to sport, would be launched in a proper way and would be a tremendous success. I am pleased that at long last we have an opportunity to debate this lottery. There was some fear of introducing a lottery of that sort. I am amazed that it has taken so long.

I wish to put a point to the Minister of State who is deputising for the Minister for Finance. There are wild, speculative figures mentioned in relation to the proceeds and the targets of this national lottery. They range from £10 million to £60 million. I have no doubt that if this Bill is passed as it is now presented the target will not even reach the minimum figure of £8 million. That figure has been mentioned in some areas. I do not think it is possible to forecast exactly what the proceeds of this lottery will be.Building on Reality was the first clear indication that the Government had accepted a submission and would be introducing a national lottery during the term of the programme, Building on Reality. The Taoiseach said that he would make sure that a major portion of the proceeds of this lottery would be devoted to sport. That quotation was mentioned in many sporting organisations throughout the country.

I would like to see written into the legislation a certain percentage. I had in mind 75 per cent. If we have a sports orientated lottery with 75 per cent of the proceeds going to sport I can assure the Minister and the Government that it will be a resounding success. If we examine the lotteries and lottos which have been introduced in other countries in Europe and New York the vast majority are almost entirely for sport. The success of this lottery will depend primarily on the public perception of what it is all about, what is available for sport and what its proceeds are going to do. If we are going to ask people to participate in a lottery by purchasing weekly tickets, I am afraid that under the existing Bill people will look on it as another form of taxation. Therefore, the funds that will come from the lottery will be very limited and no one will benefit. I can assure the House from my dealings with sporting organisations there is no doubt that, if people see it as supporting sport, it will be a success.

I want to give some of the strong economic arguments in favour of sport and refer, as I have done before, to the enormous voluntary contribution which is available for the promotion of sport. Many thousands of people who are involved in sporting organisations of one kind or another week in and week out make an enormous contribution in providing facilities and entertainment and removing our young people from pubs, lounge bars and street corners. Sport is the greatest antidote to the evils of drug abuse, crime, vandalism and violence. The Minister and the Government can get statistics from the Sports Council and others which will show that those who are involved in sport of any form are never involved in any kind of anti-social behaviour; or, if they are, it is very rare.

We are fortunate in this country in having generous sponsorship available. As we are all aware, the sponsorship which is available in many forms of sports promotion is very generous. The State has always lagged behind in this activity. I saw in the introduction of the lottery a situation whereby we would have an opportunity of trying to match the voluntary contribution and the generous sponsorship which is available. I sincerely hope that before this Bill is passed that will be the aim. If so, I have no doubt about its success.

I want to put a few points in regard to participation in a lottery dealing with sport. There are 64 national governing bodies of sport catering for 1.4 million individual units. They are in receipt of annual grant aid from the Department of Education. There are at least another 50 organisations with varying memberships who are not in receipt of grant aid. In addition, there are social groupings with little participation in sport and physical recreation. For example, working class rural housewives, for whom recreational facilities will be required in the next number of years, and every family have an interest in some form of sport, I say that knowing it is true. An indication is the number of people who stayed up late to see the fight recently and the number of people who stayed up late to watch the World Cup. We are a great sports orientated nation. Athletically, we have great potential; but we must develop it in the interest of the country. I am talking primarily in the interest of young people. If we do that, we cannot go wrong.

There is a growing public interest in sport, which can be seen by the enormous increase in the value of sports goods produced at factory gate prices in the 1970-77 period. For example, in 1970, there was £243,000 worth of sports gear purchased. In 1977, over £3.5 million worth of sports gear was purchased. In 1987, it is reckoned it will be approximately ten times that amount. These are indications. At one stage in this city over 10,000 people participated in a marathon. I am trying to get across to the Minister and the Government an indication of the interest in sport and the opportunity this Bill presents to this country and the sports people involved. A national sports lottery will provide the Government with an alternative method of fund raising for sporting or recreational needs. It is said that such a lottery would be popular and appeal to the people. A lottery organised professionally and sophisticatedly would give an overall profit of somewhere in the region of £10 million. The introduction of such a lottery would be, as I have said, an antidote to the evils of crime and drug abuse.

There is another aspect for those young people who are fortunate to be in gainful employment. There is such a thing as leisure time and its constructive use. With the introduction of modern technology, in the years ahead there will be many more people with much more leisure time on their hands. There is no doubt that sport has a role to play in the area of preventive medicine, which will cost up to £70 million this year. The cost of treating drug abuse among young people this year will be over £1 million. This is increasing. Sport has also a positive role to play in the reduction of crime. The cost of keeping a young offender in prison could be anything up to £500 or more a week. Bearing in mind the point I made in relation to the activities of young people in sport as the antidote to crime, that is one example where there is a strong economic argument to be made to help the people who provide a voluntary contribution to support and back up the generous sponsorship which is available.

If our young people do not do well in their intermediate or leaving certificates, there is a danger at that stage that there could be a drop-out. It is quite possible tha many of those people could have great potential athletically. If they can get a status or identity in the area of sport it will do them considerable good for the rest of their lives. That is an aspect which should be taken into account. Funds are also very badly needed for the employment of full time administrators and coaches in some of the sporting organisations. The Irish Olympic Council have no recognised headquarters or office facilities. National governing bodies of sport can play a significant role in promoting sport among young disadvantaged people in newly developed housing and inner city areas. A coming together of all the organisations involved, sharing the facilities of a sports headquarters, is very necessary. The Government and the provisions of this Bill, once implemented, can give a lead in that regard.

Another area deserving attention is the scholarship scheme to assist Irish sports persons who show promise in their particular sport which could lead to success at the highest level of international competition. Increased funding is necessary in this area also. I should like to draw the attention of the House to the cross-Border sports co-operation, which is very relevant at present in view of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. For example, we should bear in mind that 64 governing bodies of sport are grant-aided by the Exchequer each year and that the vast majority of them are Thirty-two Counties based.

I should like to refer in particular to the special Olympics held in Dublin last year which were an outstanding success, when many nations competed, and the Taoiseach and many members of the Government and Opposition attended. Its organisation did credit to the country. The £50,000 funding provided on that occasion to the Olympic Council of Ireland was very generous. Nobody was more pleased than I on that occasion to convey to its organisers that the Government were prepared to support the venture. Indeed, it should be remembered that the hosting of events of that sort helps the tourist industry, so important to our economy. Many international events could be hosted here if only we had the requisite facilities but we have not the back-up or resources. If we had the requisite resources it would be a boost to our sporting organisations, leading to a spin-off of activities beneficial in turn, to tourism.

I sincerely hope that is what will happen on the implementation of the provisions of this Bill. I always saw a national lottery as providing an opportunity for the funding of a national sports centre. We must be one of the few countries that has not a national sports centre. I understand the Minister responsible for sport will be informed shortly of where that proposed centre will be located by a committee who have examined in detail all aspects of such a centre. I do not want to pre-empt that announcement. There are people who contend that it is unthinkable that such a centre should be located anywhere other than Dublin. Wherever it is to be sited I hope that simultaneously there will be some regional development of sport as well. I always viewed a national lottery as sports-orientated, the major takings being devoted to sport with a certain amount of the proceeds being diverted to the provision of a national sports centre. It was my view that both would go hand in hand so that we would have a national sports centre from the proceeds of a lottery over, say, eight to ten years — a sports centre that would do justice to our athletes, sports people and organisations. I should like the Minister responsible and the Government to set about the provision of such a national sports centre, diverting some of the lottery proceeds towards that end.

With regard to the question of funding of sport generally there is a problem occasioned by the number of people unemployed who cannot afford to take part in preparation or training for sport, indeed all that it takes to reach the top level in any branch of sport. We have wonderful ambassadors, particularly in the United States — I shall not go through the list of people who have done credit to our country in the sporting world — people on the athletic side, people like cyclists, swimmers who, incidentally do not even have a 50 metre swimming pool which should be given top priority in the provision of a national sports centre. We have wonderful ambassadors in that respect. We should remember the tremendous success we have had abroad in the area of sport. Likewise we should remember that we are handicapped through lack of facilities for proper training and funding of those people who cannot afford it themselves. At the Olympic Games in 1984 I remember talking with one of our sports people who had been involved who had done justice to the country in his area of sport. He told me he was unemployed and that he could not afford to travel in order to train. That is sad and does not do any of us credit. We should not allow that type of thing to continue. Sport should never be the exclusive property of the rich and we should ensure that people with potential are catered for.

I am pleased with certain sections of this Bill. It is as well that the Minister has made it clear that 40 per cent of the gross receipts will be returned in prize moneys. In my view that is good salesmanship and I hope people will appreciate that fact. I was glad to note also that the Minister said tickets could not be purchased by people under 18 years of age. He went on to elaborate, however, that people under that age can receive presents of tickets.

I might draw the attention of the Minister to the fact that I presided over an inter-departmental committee on sport representative of the Departments of Finance, Environment, Health and Education who made a submission to the Government. One question in which I was enormously interested was the extent of illegal gambling in this country. On that occasion the Revenue Commissioners said there was more than £1 million worth of illegal gambling taking place here. It would be extremely difficult to assess the contributions of Irish people to foreign pools. I would hazard a guess that the amount would be sizeable. Yet I do not believe anybody here would have any accurate idea of the contributions and support that exist for foreign pools, people who go abroad, buy tickets, return home and continue to do so. I feel that the provisions of this Bill, once implemented, should trap a certain amount of that illegal gambling and certainly the moneys being spent by way of contribution to foreign pools.

This year the Exchequer contribution to sport will be in the region of £1,500,000 with the sports advisory bodies of the vocational education committees receiving close on £600,000 or £700,000; I am not sure of the present figure. If a sizeable portion of the proceeds from the national lottery is allocated to sport this could lead to a considerable increase in the existing subvention. I might suggest to the Minister that, say, 75 per cent of £10 million, £7.75 million, be diverted to sport which would constitute an enormous increase in its funding.

I want the Minister to note particularly that there are no recreational facility grants available here at present. If we want to reach out and make a gesture to deprived areas of our cities and towns, we must have sporting facilities available to attract people. We cannot provide the facilities without the necessary resources, without Government back-up of voluntary contributions and the general sponsorship already available. Some of these moneys should be devoted to the reintroduction of the recreational facility grants, giving due recognition to those people who provide those facilities for their neighbours and the communities in which they reside.

This is a classic example of how people will contribute to something which is seen to aid sport. All public representatives of rural constituencies must be inundated by clubs and groups seeking support for the provision of, say, a playing pitch, sports hall or something of that nature.

I am talking about small rural parishes where people raise anything up to £100,000 to provide a playing pitch for their local club. The determined efforts of a number of people make this possible when it is seen to be in aid of sport. I have no objection to the inclusion of the Irish language, art or health. I also feel that, because of the contribution made by the Hospitals' Trust, health should be included. I ask the House to consider whether it would be possible to raise £100,000 in a small parish to aid the Irish language or health. I leave that to the House to decide.

I now refer to the charitable organisations, many of which organise lotteries. I appreciate that it will be very difficult to organise a national lottery that will not in any way impair the valuable work which many charitable organisations are doing, funded by their own lotteries. There is such a multiplicity of these lotteries that there must be considerable wastage. The objectives for which they are run may often benefit very little because of the costs of administration. I would ask the Minister to consider whether there is any way that those lotteries which provide money for very worthy causes could be embodied in a national lottery. This could be done with the co-operation of the people involved. Audited accounts would be submitted and the national lottery, which would be run by the State, would ensure that their income would not be impaired. Perhaps some kind of inflation clause could be included in the agreement. This would be much more effective than simply introducing a national lottery in addition to the multiplicity of lotteries which already exist. It would be more economical and successful if we could get those people under the one umbrella and make sure that they would not lose out.

I wish this lottery every success. I suppose it is the norm for Government back-benchers to support a measure introduced by their own party. I am pleased that I have the freedom to speak my mind on this occasion. If I did not say here what I have been saying for a long time in relation to the introduction of a lottery, I would be a hypocrite. I appeal to the Minister to examine before Committee Stage the proposals I have made. The success of the lottery is all important. Salemanship will be involved in developing the public perception of what it is about. I believe it will not be successful unless it is run along lines similar to those I have mentioned.

I do not always find myself in agreement with Deputy O'Kennedy but I feel that there will be no public appeal in a lottery launch for the purpose of building up a fund somewhere in the bank to be distributed subsequently by a Minister or by the Government. Is it possible that in the years ahead some Minister or Government could decide to devote some of the money to Leitrim County Council or to roads in Connemara? I presided over an enlightening inter-departmental meeting on this topic. The point was made by the representative of the Department of the Environment that it should be a local authority lottery. We are all reasonably mature and have experience in dealing with the general public. The case was then made at this meeting that it would not be possible to sell a lottery ticket to someone who had just received a bill for refuse collection or water rates.

A survey was carried out among the unemployed queueing at a labour exchange. I was amazed at their response. People said they would certainly support the lottery if the major portion of the money was devoted to sport. I appeal to the Minister to consider including in the Bill some commitment that the major portion of the money raised will be devoted to sport, as was specifically stated inBuilding On Reality. I must leave the definition of “major portion” to the House or the Minister.

It was a distinct pleasure to listen to the former Minister of State at the Department of Education who had particular responsibility for sport. It was obvious that he spoke not only from knowledge and conviction but with the strength and vigour he gave to that Department while he was there. It behoves us to listen to the points he makes. While he said he did not often find himself in sympathy with speakers on this side of the House, he did find himself in agreement with Deputy O'Kennedy in many of the points he made. That, I suppose, is a sign of the times and it is a welcome admission. Our spokesman, Deputy O'Kennedy, put forward our point of view on this lottery. I have many points to make, some of them along the course followed by the Deputy O'Kennedy and others which I make individually.

When the concept of a national lottery was conceived in 1979 it was to be a sports lottery. It gestated for a number of years and resurfaced in the Government document,Building On Reality. Section 5.32 of that document states:

The Government are anxious that, despite the difficult financial situation, additional funding should be provided for sport. The Government have decided that a National Lottery should be established, part of the proceeds of which will be allocated to the promotion of sport. The success of lotteries in other countries indicates that substantial amounts could be raised from a National Lottery here.

This was written confirmation that there would be a national lottery and that the moneys accruing would be used in the main as additional, not replacement, funding for sport.

We all rested comfortably on that promise. In recent years when I met representatives of third level institutions, secondary schools, community and sporting organisations, the promotion of sport was mentioned and I took sustenance from the commitment of our Government, in the person of Deputy Tunney who was responsible for sport and later Deputy Geoghegan-Quinn, to devote most of the money from the national lottery to the promotion of sport. It has been said that our programme did not advance very quickly but it did advance in that many meetings were held with interested bodies. As in the case of all major issues big bodies move slowly but progress was made. It may be said that we were too complacent over the years in regard to the use of those funds.

I was naive in regard to the document I referred to. Many pages of that document have been tarnished and discredited because the targets have not been met. In fact, in many instances the aims were neglected. The Bill, the explanatory memorandum and the speech by the Minister of State are completely at variance with what we were led to believe would happen to the funds. The Bill does not propose the establishment of a national lottery to fund sport. It represents a tax gathering exercise on behalf of the Government. Into the greedy coffers and the avaricious jaws of the Government's tax purse will go the punts and shillings of the ordinary punter. I do not have any hang-up about a national lottery. Other speakers do not agree with taking money from, as they say, the disadvantaged but we have lived for years with the Irish Hospitals' Trust and weekly pools to which all contribute. I approve of the Minister's regulations to run the lottery correctly but moral indignation is the order of the day when it is obvious that the exercise is to grab revenue from people to be swallowed up in the national purse.

My words on this issue are not wild. I was a member of Seanad Éireann when the youth employment levy was introduced. It was my first term as a Member of that House and I expressed a fear that the money would not be devoted to creating jobs for young people. I held the view that there should be a fund labelled "youth employment levy fund" and that the money in it should be devoted to creating jobs for young people. That did not happen. My fears about the lottery fund are based on past experience. Some of the money raised by the youth employment levy went to AnCO and the National Manpower Service but there was not any clear direction to devote £X million to the creation of "X" number of jobs for young people. That exercise was wrong. When the levy was introduced people felt it would lead to the creation of jobs for young people but that did not happen. My crib today is that the same thing will happen to the lottery fund, in spite of the sincere words of the Minister of State. The provisions of the Bill are vague, ambiguous and ill-defined and do not stand up to scrutiny.

Before there is a great hue and cry that once again Fianna Fáil are opposed to a national lottery I should like to state that that is not the position. We accept the need for a national lottery but when we were last in Government we could not get to grips with the issue because our term in office was very short. We are not opposed to a national lottery but we are opposed to the provisions in the Bill before us. The Bill states loosely that the money will be donated to sport, culture, health, the arts and the Irish language. I am in favour of all those pursuits and daily I speak on education but the worthy causes mentioned are not the ones which were to be supported by the national lottery.

I agree with Deputy Creed who stated that at least 75 per cent of the fund should be for promotion of sport. He mentioned the Cospóir sub-committee who are engaged in the collection of submissions on the location of a national sports centre. I have a vested interest in advocating that such a centre should be in Athlone. A local committee answered the Cospóir advertisement and tendered a submission and the town, like the other ten centres considered, was visited by the Cospóir sub-committee. The Athlone committee spent a lot of money on the preparation and promotion of their submission and, like the other centres, it was on the understanding that the national lottery fund would go towards the setting up of a national sports centre. However, we learned in the course of the debate on the Education Estimate from the Minister of State responsible for sport, Deputy Seán Barrett, that it is not intended to build, as he said, a big white elephant in one centre but that perhaps there would be regional centres to cater for various aspects of sport.

During questions on the Estimate for the Department of Education I raised with the Minister the concept of a national sports centre with a 50 metre pool and all the adjuncts and appointments which would earn the centre the label of "national". I was told that what was now being thought about was a series of regional centres throughout the country to which funding would be given. This idea is wrong and ill advised. The concept should be of a national centre, an area in which all the best in sports equipment etc. would be concentrated, a national sports forum. The idea of the Minister is a grave dilution of the intention about sports facilities which various Ministers for Education have tried to introduce.

The Bill has no reference to the idea of a national sports centre. It does not provide for a specific amount of money from the lottery for the promotion of sports. The Minister for Education, in his capacity as Minister for Defence, was chairman of a sports promotion committee in Athlone which would make the town the centre for Irish sports. I was a committee member and we laboured hard and long. I am still waiting for what will arise from the Minister's idea in that regard. I do not disagree with the concept of regional centres, but they must not be at the expense of a national centre. We must adhere to the original idea of such a centre.

I wish to pay tribute to the organisers of the Special Olympics in Dublin last year. I attended on one day and saw the Athlone group win many medals. It showed how there can be fulfilment in sport for everybody. In the Bill there is total lack of recognition for the role played by voluntary agencies who labour for particular charities. I am sure the Minister has received representations from these voluntary organisations, particularly those for the handicapped. They have an umbrella group covering all the branches of sports and they are very concerned that there will not be guarantees in this Bill that, if the money accruing to them from their church gate collections and their flag days and other activities is reduced because of contributions to the national lottery, they will be compensated. These organisations have been doing great work in their various activities for cancer research, for those suffering from Down's Syndrome, etc. Those organisations have no guarantee that they will not lose money because of the imminence of the national lottery.

Although the Bill does not specify it, we have been told that the lottery will be run by An Post, and in every hamlet and village and sub-post office there will be centres in which people can contribute to the lottery. That money will be diverted from those charitable organisations who have worked so hard for so long. The Minister in his speech uttered some well meaning words without giving any specific guarantees to these organisations. He said:

In the event that, despite these measures, it can be shown that the net income to charitable and voluntary bodies from the lotteries they operate has declined as a direct consequence of the activities of the national lottery. I can assure the House that the Government will be sympathetic to their situation in deciding on the allocation of the national lottery's proceeds.

We are all sympathetic, day and night, to the pleadings of those responsible for just causes. Of course, politicians are not always going around with sympathetic miens, but while the Minister may assure us that the Government will be sympathetic, those kind words do not have the force of legislation. It is no use expressing sympathy loosely like that: it must be written in the Bill in specific terms, and next week we will be moving amendments to this effect and perhaps the Minister will have a change of heart in the meantime.

From what we have read of the Bill it seems that the Government will again be tax gatherers, gathering the people's money into their ever greedy jaws, money which heretofore has been going to charitable organisations. The groundwork had been prepared for a certain amount of the proceeds of this lottery to go to these organisations and to all sports activities. When the lottery has been established people will be going to local post offices and buying tickets thinking that some of the money will be devoted to sports. They will be having their flutter and thinking they are doing some good for sport. When they discover they are paying another tax to the Government they will not have a very warm feeling. They will have a vicious feeling because they will say that, if they are paying more money to the Government, it will not be to this Government anyway.

Perhaps I was regarded as infantile in the Seanad some time ago when in a simple housewifely way I said that the money going to the Youth Employment Agency would not be used to provide jobs for the young. I want to see from this legislation a fund labelled "Sport for Ireland". That would make me feel good. I am mad about education, the arts and culture; but, if we start diluting the money and saying that some of it will go to county councils and elsewhere, we will be undermining the selling capacity of this lottery. If the lottery is not seen to be doing good and to be devoted to specific purposes, the lottery will not be successful. I will trumpet long and loud about it, as I have done here today. I will also talk about it in other fora because I am convinced the Government are making a basic mistake. We know how turned off the people are by the level of taxation. They will not buy a taxation measure that will go towards a general purse labelled "Government expenditure". I hope the Minister will bear in mind the points I have made. Section 6 (1) (c) (ii) states:

the installation, operation, maintenance, repair or supervision of computers or other electronic devices, or devices of any kind, used for the purposes of the National Lottery,

Section 6 (1) (d) states:

the installation, operation, maintenance, repair and supervision of computers or other electronic devices, or devices of any kind, used for the purposes of the National Lottery,

When we deal with this matter on Committee Stage next week I shall come back to this point and shall await the Minister's comment. In Athlone there was a case of an operator who applied for a licence to run a lottery for charitable purposes. It was referred to the Circuit Court and the case was heard by Mr. Justice O'Malley, Mr. Edward Walsh also appeared and Mr. Henry Abbott acted for the State. He was told by the office of the Attorney General to oppose the licence and he asked for a case stated. Judge O'Malley decided to grant the case stated and it went for submission to the Supreme Court, "to decide if a lottery run by ticket and computer and electronic device constitutes a lottery". That case rests with the Supreme Court for decision.

It may be that the Minister is introducing this Bill quite prematurely in view of the fact that a decision has not been made. The words used by the judge such as "computers", "programming" and "electronic devices" are elements in the national lottery to which the State objected in a previous case in a private lottery application and are now the subject of a Supreme Court decision. If the Government are awaiting a decision of the Supreme Court in connection with this matter, it appears we are talking now in a vacuum. The point has been made to me and I hope the matter will be clarified by the Minister when he replies. In view of the valid points made by our spokesman, by Deputy Creed and by myself, I hope the Government will put forward amendments to this Bill.

I welcome this Bill. It is a very good idea and one I have championed for many years. I compliment the people who did the background work on it. The Minister in his speech stated that the first lottery was established in Ghent in the 15th century. It is a lovely town that I visited on one occasion. Long before I ever had an opportunity to leave this country, there was mention in a poem taught at school of "how they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix". I think Aix le Chapelle is now called Aachen. When I was there I asked them about the good news but nobody was aware of it. Perhaps it was a case of poetic licence, it was fictitious. My only regret is that it took another 500 years for the good news to come from Ghent to Dublin.

It would be wrong to say we had not a national sweepstake or a State lottery before because in the Irish Hospitals Trust Sweepstakes we had a most successful type of lottery. Due to the instinct and foresight of the late Joe McGrath and others it was established many years ago. It was not an instant success but they stayed with it and eventually it became a way of life in Ireland. It provided much needed finance for the hospitals in the early decades of the foundation of the State; it provided good employment and it generated great interest. What was done at that time succeeded in tapping the Irish interest in racing and the sweepstake on the major races had great appeal. There was a considerable amount of money given in prizes. In the early days of the sweep, people followed the fortunes of "Lucky Coady" and others just as nowadays they follow the fortunes of Miley and Maggie. It was probably illegal for them to sell tickets in Canada and America but they succeeded in doing that and brought much needed finance from abroad to this country. However, nothing lasts forever and the sweeps have been going downhill for many years. From a breakeven situation they went into the red and some years ago there were plans to have a new kind of sweepstake; there were four sweeps throughout the year called "Shamrock" sweeps but they were not very successful.

However, it would be wrong to dismiss the sweepstakes. I compliment the founders because they did good work. They were not afraid to take a chance and, above all, they thought big. I should like to impress on the Minister or whoever will be responsible for implementing this lottery that we should think big too. We should not be too worried about being branded as gamblers. Rightly or wrongly, one of Ireland's greatest leaders was accused of being a gambler but it did not affect his work for the country. Indeed, this Government are faced with a major lottery tomorrow when the referendum on divorce is held. Many people would consider marriage an even bigger lottery. For the Government divorce is an even bigger game of chance because an almost certain winner at the date of entry looks to be a likely loser now — another loser trained by G. FitzGerald. I do not want the House to mix up that name with that of Jimmy Fitzgerald, the man who trains the good steeplechaser "Forgive an' Forget". It will be a long time before the people forgive or forget this Government. I have a fair inkling of what the people will do tomorrow.

We must not allow this lottery to become a Mickey Mouse effort. If we pursue the project properly it will do very well. I had occasion to visit the State lottery premises in the state of Massachusetts and to talk to the executive there. I brought them to Ireland about six years ago to present their case and to make a promotion. Something that gave me the greatest satisfaction was to meet a lady from Connemara working there. We had a few minutes chat in Irish, much to the dismay of the others. That kind of lottery is ideally suited to Irish conditions. The State of Massachusetts compares fairly well with Ireland in population and with regard to religious and ethnic background. That lottery is very well promoted; it is highly sophisticated, is computerised and is linked to the telephone service. It is possible to phone in a number up to ten minutes before the time of the draw. It is popular and is well patronised by the State. The management are alert to the moods of the people and occasionally they change their format to suit those needs. The lottery has a prime spot on television and there is a possibility of winning $1 million. That happens occasionally and the big winner is interviewed on television. Advice is available on how to invest that money and often after a year or two they are brought back as an advertisement for the lottery to see how they got on, what they did with their money and how it affected their lives.

The State lottery in Massachusetts is as much a way of life there as The Late, Late Show is here, and the only advantage is that it is on television all year round. I hope the fact that that lottery was not mentioned by the Minister is not an indication that the Government did not look very closely at the lottery which I feel best suits the needs of this country. Perhaps we will consider giving a £1 million prize because this would create great interest and give the lottery a good start.

Recently a trend has developed where local voluntary organisations, the GAA and sports clubs, schools, community organisations and so on, wishing to generate income have given big prizes and charged a hefty price of £50 or £60 a ticket — TDs and Senators will be aware of this — but it has proved to be a success. If this lottery is to be a success we must give big prizes.

On reading the Bill I, like many other Deputies, am very worried because it appears that all the profits will go into the mighty maw of the State coffers. A former Minister referred to this euphemistically as being subsumed by the Exchequer. We know what will go in but we do not know what will come out, where the money will go or to whom it will be given and that is vitally important. How much and to whom the money will be given is very much at the discretion of the Minister. The next Minister who will be involved in this will probably be a Fianna Fáil Minister. If one were to try to sell tickets for a State lottery at the moment and the purchaser asked where the profits were going, if one said they were going to Mr. Bruton, I doubt if the person would part with his pound. Even in Kildare where we are fond of a gamble if we said the money was going to Mr. Dukes——

The Chair would prefer if you would refer to Deputy and Minister. I noticed that you used the word "Mr. " a few times.

If one were to say that the former Minister for Finance, now Minister for Justice, Deputy Dukes, were to get that pound, I do not believe anyone would part with his money more easily than they would to the Minister, Deputy Bruton.

Because of the wording of this Bill I believe the Government have struck a blow against the lottery and have not enhanced its chances of success. The Minister said it would be impossible to write into the Bill where the money would go because it would be too restrictive to earmark the beneficiaries. I do not agree. When this was first mooted we all thought the proceeds would go to sport, recreational or leisure facilities, but the Minister mentioned national culture in all its forms, the Irish language and health matters. Naturally health would have to be covered because of the connection with the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes. I was sure this money would be given to other laudible projects as well, but that is now in doubt. The Minister must spell out where the money will go and reassure the people so that the lottery will remain popular.

The Minister said it is necessary to have public trust and confidence if the Bill is to be a success, but despite pious aspirations, that is not spelt out in the Bill. This lottery will affect voluntary organisations because it will probably dry up a source of income which up to now was available to them. Despite talks they may have had with the Department, they are still very worried and are far from being reassured. A letter published today by the Union of Voluntary Organisations for the Handicapped gives a run-down of their worries and their causes for worrying and I can sympathise with them, but there are many worthy organisations which use draws, lotteries, raffles, pools and so on to generate much needed funds. In many cases they generate more funds than the Government make available to them but they fear they will be wiped out when this source is no longer available to them, and they have every reason to feel worried. The Government should consider taking these organisations with them. The Minister said they would be given a cut, but they do not know how much they will get and will they get it for nothing. I do not believe people appreciate what they get for nothing. I would prefer to see them as agents getting a cut in proportion to their sales and the amount of work they have done. This would ensure that all the organisations were closely involved and they would be part and parcel of the new State lottery.

The Minister mentioned an employment content of 40. Will that satisfy the people in the sweepstakes? Some people say that the sweepstakes were over staffed, but some of these employees were there for a very long time and they now find themselves out of a job. I suppose An Post will do their own thing and will not employ any of these people. I wonder if An Post are the ideal body to undertake this task. At first glance it might appear they they are. The Minister said the lottery will be operated by a company established for no other purpose.

I appreciate that the company will probably be a subsidiary of An Post, but immediately I see a conflict of interests. Recently because of the new management system with their whiz kid image and their up and at it attitude, An Post started to sell St. Patrick's Day cards in their anxiety to promote business, but in doing this they interfered with the traditional business of others. They may adopt the attitude the Government adopted in Maynooth. In Maynooth the post office was always in the main street, convenient for all, particularly old age pensioners cashing their cheques and collecting their money, but a new site had to be found. The site chosen was on the extreme edge of the town, by coincidence in a super-market. Post offices were originally intended for the convenience of the public, but will that now take second place to the sale of lottery tickets? As I said, there could be a conflict of interests here. I am not sure that the subsidiary body of An Post will be established for no other purpose than the success of the lottery.

When this idea was first mooted Deputy Tunney said the money would be earmarked for sport, leisure and recreation, and that was widely acclaimed. Such a move would do wonders for this country. Ireland could be a mecca for sport if we provided the facilities and the stadia. Horse racing is a good example of what can be done if enough money is ploughed into it, and if there is enough interest. Next Saturday we will stage the Budweiser Derby, the richest race in Europe. That is an indication of what can be done. We have very good greyhounds but there is not enough money in the industry. We do not have the facilities for athletics and other types of sport which we should have. We need people like the late Billy Morton who provided Santry Stadium, but what happened to it since is no credit to anyone. He was a man of a vision who could attract world class athletes here. We have a reputation for show jumping and cycling. Our cyclists are probably the best on the Continent. An effort was made to provide a track for motor racing in my constituency at Mondello which failed, probably for lack of support and funds. When we provided a marina for yachts at Howth there was an outcry. Certain begrudgers felt that money could be better spent elsewhere. We have not the facilities for boating, fishing and swimming that we should have.

The list is endless and the potential is marvellous. We have a suitable climate. We may not always be able to provide a sunny day free from rain but the 70º that we might get normally here in the summer is preferable to the 110º that you might get in the car park in Las Vegas. If we provided the facilities here people would accept them and they would result in a very big pay off for tourism and would be good for the locals also. Indeed, the Government had that manner of thinking when they provided extra grants for hotels and others who would provide those facilities in a scheme introduced recently. I hope the Minister will think big and do this on a national scale.

To illustrate the lack of sport facilities, I remember seeing ice skating from Strasbourg on our TV. When I was in Strasbourg subsequently I talked to people, mostly physiotherapists, who were involved in sport there and who bemoaned the fact that they had only two suitable ice arenas in Strasbourg. They asked me how many we had in Ireland. I did not like to tell them that the only one I was aware of that we could use was the National Stadium on South Circular Road which is frozen on some occasions to be used for ice skating. That was before the PD housewarming. A programme such as I have mentioned would have a wide appeal particularly for young people and would be successful.

I notice that 40 per cent of the money will be earmarked for prize money. That is a good idea, but I see no percentage earmarked for administration. It is necessary to ensure efficiency. I notice that a scrutineer is to be employed who will examine the books and see that they are balanced,. However, he will not be authorised to look at the dead wood in the organisation to see what might be cut out. Let the Minister not commit the same sin as the Coalition of being so much involved with fiscal rectitude that he is interested only in having the books balanced. That should not be his only concern. He must see that the job is done efficiently also.

If the money is to be subsumed then this legislation will not satisfy the people. If the money is to go into the coffers — and we are not sure where it is to go — it could be classified as road tax, youth employment levy and so forth and people will ask where it is going and will consider it double taxation. The Minister may say it is a voluntary subscription but it will be regarded as double taxation, and people will be sick to the teeth of it. That is the big mistake in this Bill if it proceeds as planned. The Minister will lose the people's will. Why rush this in now before the next election? We have waited so long that we can wait a little longer and the Minister would have the people with him. Earmark the proceeds for popular, necessary national projects. The money need not all go to sport. The Minister mentioned health and education. Think of the lack of conference centres here. Ireland has had occasion to host important world conferences and if we had more facilities to do that we could encourage more of them to come here. I would not like to see all the money earmarked for sport. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work would not be successful either.

I am glad there is a guarantee that all this will be above board, as I am sure it will. However, the Minister should make a point of bringing the voluntary organisations to his side. He should bring everyone with him. He needs everybody's voluntary help and voluntary contributions. I hope the Minister will not look upon my criticism as something that a Member opposite would give. He is listening to someone who is just as anxious as he is that this project will succeed. I want it to be a success and I would love to think it will make £1 million profit every week which will be ploughed back for the good of the people. The slogan is that if you are not in you cannot win, but if the Minister does not bring all the people along with him on this project this lottery will not be a success.

I am glad of the opportunity to contribute to this debate on the lottery. This legislation is very important and will be very far reaching in its effects. Some of the reasons for my disagreement with it are not the same as the reasons given by the Opposition so far. One is inclined to think of the bonus, the money that will come as a result of this lottery, and to concentrate on how it should be spent and forget about the consequences of the introduction of the lottery.

The Bill has been well drafted, its eventualities considered and much room has been allowed for manoeuvre. On the one hand it is strict enough to satisfy the public and on the other it is flexible enough to enable the best thing to be done with the funds generated. We do not really know what is going to happen. My criticisms of the Bill are not directed towards the Minister for the drafting of the Bill.Building on Reality 1985-1987 indicated that the Bill would be brought in as the Minister indicated in his speech and there has been no intention to change that provision.

I have said previously in this House that I am totally opposed to lotteries. I have mentioned as a preface to each important Bill that has come into the House in the past few weeks that it is very unfortunate that the House is treated as a rubber stamp for the purpose of dealing with legislation. Legislation is brought into the House, discussed by various contributors with varying degrees of expertise and passed through, as the Malicious Injuries (Amendment) Bill was passed through last night. It was proved beyond doubt then that the arguments presented on that Bill were totally inadequate, yet no answers were given before it was passed through the House. The Minister was not even present. We have had the Courts Bill and now we have this measure. Therefore, I hope that the Minister will be open to suggestions on Committee Stage.

I have said that I am opposed to the Bill and I was surprised pleasantly to see that the Opposition oppose it also, albeit not for the same reasons that I do. Deputy O'Rourke said she has no hang-up about the morality of it or the effects it will have, but has other criticisms of it, as the spokesman on Finance has. The main criticism from the Opposition is that the money is going into the coffers of the Exchequer and into the Estimates of the various Departments and could be seen to be swallowed up there in costs. That problem is not insurmountable and could be addresed.

I have made contributions about this Bill in the past. InThe Irish Press of 17 August 1985 I had a short note to the effect that the national lottery would turn us into a nation of gamblers and that the Government could not morally condone the infliction of such a devastating illness on the people because it hit poor people the hardest. I also described lotteries as an indirect tax on the poor. I said that some benefit might be gained in the short term because of the quicker provision of sporting facilities but that such facilities would come in the long term anyway. If anything is worth providing for people it is worth taxing them for it. Parents will be tempted to put money which should be spent on milk and bread for the children on a lottery ticket in the hope that it can end for life the pangs of hunger of their children.

We should be discussing the implications of this Bill. In his wide ranging speech the Minister gave us the benefit of research back to the 17th century. As I said yesterday, when it suits us in this House we quote other countries and because it is a success we feel that we should do the same here. The Minister mentioned the United States, Australia, Sweden, Ghana, New Zealand, Brazil and China. The Minister must be aware of my previous contributions to debates in this House concerning lotteries. I refer him to the Official Report, volume 355, No. 10, of 12 February 1985 and to the adjournment debate, Official Report, volume 362, No. 14, of 18 December 1985.

Lotteries will be very bad for the nation and we will regret introducing them. I have tried to make this known as widely as possible. I wrote an article inThe Sunday Press on 1 September 1985 which was headed. “We need a lottery like we need a new tax”. I said that lotteries are a diversion and a costly, futile attempt to escape the realities of poverty. People cannot see the wood for the trees; all they see are the big prizes. It may seem a very innocent sport to many Members for punters to have a flutter, but it is a deadly past time and we will turn the population, especially the young, into a nation of gamblers. In doing that we are ignoring the available international advice which says that lotteries are a failure, a tax on the people and that responsible Governments who encouraged them in the beginning now regret doing so and have either dropped lotteries altogether or intend to do so.

The resultant hardship and gambling mania will be far more damaging than anything which would accrue to the community. Lotteries will turn us into a nation of gamblers to be rivalled only by the drinking mania which is allowed and approved of here. It will destroy lives and cause untold hardship to the poorest of the poor whose much needed money to buy bread will be used to buy lottery tickets.

I was in a minority of one, with the exception of Deputy Kelly, in opposing lotteries until the Opposition adopted the same stance for different reasons. I could not convince anybody of the damage which lotteries would inflict. It is said that lotteries are successful because they give hope to no-hopers. It is a one in a million chance for people to be relieved of their misery. However, it is exploitation of the worst kind and fools people into believing that they have a chance or prospect of relieving their children and loved ones from a miserable, hopeless existence. This hope is generally built up by massive advertising campaigns by the Government, who employ a PR company to convince people that dreams can become reality and that fantasies can be realised. People from all over the country in every town and village who are mainly below the bread line will want to risk a few pounds in the hope of achieving false happiness by instant wealth.

The chances of winning are so ridiculously low that no sane punter would risk losing a farthing at such odds. If, for example, the prize is £1 million and the tickets cost £1 each, the chances of winning are a million to one. What person in his right mind would put £1 on a horse if the odds were a million to one? Race-courses are sensible enough to realise that when a horse is quoted at over 100 to one nobody is interested. We are asking our people to put their £1 or £5 on to ridiculous odds, which are so long that it is almost impossible to win anything. In that way the Government are taking a tax from the poor, because they are asking them to contribute. The conscience of the Government should be aroused by the fact that they will have to indulge in a campaign of persuasion which will be done by massive television, radio and other media advertising. They will use part of the resources which they will get from those who buy tickets to convince people that they should partake in the lottery with phrases like "If you're not in, you can't win", "Look at John Murphy, he was an unemployed labourer last week, he has now won £1 million and is set up for life". There will be photographs of him in the newspapers and we might even have the Taoiseach presenting him with his cheque. However, there will be a sorry saga to relate before we get to that stage. I hope when the first community or sports stadium is opened as a result of the money from the lottery that they will put a plaque on it paying tribute to the people who provided it. They can add that it was provided with money from the poor of the nation. What man would take such a risk if he were not hyped up and fooled by media pictures and advertising and marketing gimmicks designed to trick him into believing that he has a reasonable chance of winning?

The experience of other countries shows that lotteries are a disaster for their people. The short term gains by way of improved facilities are eroded by the ensuing gambling problems and hardships visited on the lower income group who are inclined to speculate more than any other sector of the population. If the Government proposed to levy an extra £10 or £20 per week on the poor there would be an ourcry. That is what this proposal will mean. I know it is optional but it will be promoted very heavily. It is also politically suicidal because if the Government created a £1 million winner every week they also create millions of losers and at the end of a three year period there will be many more losers than winners and these people will take out their ire on the Government of the day. The few who make a big winning fuel the fantasies of those who dream of tickets to a bright new future.

In Canada one manager of a store in Toronto where there have been single prizes of as much as $14 million said of the type of people who buy tickets:

They stand there looking at the numbers with so much hope on their faces; sometimes they have to scrape together their pennies to buy tickets. It is the poorest ones who come back every week and who can blame them. Winning the lottery is the only hope they have of ever winning anything.

For many they are a cheap diversion but for some the mania with lotteries has become a costly, futile attempt to escape the realities of poverty. In 1983 Canadians spent $1.4 billion feeding their obsessions with various lotteries and 12 other games that hold out the elusive dream of instant wealth. In case their urge should start to wane they are bombarded with advertisements urging them to bet every week, not just once in a while. They are told to look, for example, at what happened to so and so whose numbers came up the week she did not buy a ticket.

The provincial Government in Canada who run the lotteries and profited from them to the tune of $417.2 million in 1983 argued that lotteries are harmless entertainment which finance worthwhile health and recreational projects. This is the same argument this Government are now putting up. But church officials, economists, sociologists, say we have been conned into an immoral, regressive tax system that hits the poor the hardest by preying on their desperate need to escape economic realities. If the facilities they fund are worthwhile they should be funded through other means. In any case the poor are the least likely to use the facilities. One lottery manager said:

It is like a sickness. Every week they buy, they play, they gamble. Everyone around here is on social welfare and they are spending $30 to $50 a week on lottery tickets. They would rather do that than buy groceries.

A 33-year-old bank teller was convicted of defrauding the Royal Trust Corporation of $183,000 to pay for $5,000 worth of lottery tickets per week. She was described by the Crown Counsel as a lonely woman——

If the Deputy is quoting and has not given the reference I would be glad if he would do so.

The Crown Counsel in this case described her as:

A lonely woman who worked 40 hours a week, spent the rest of her working time buying lottery tickets, checking the numbers and hoping to reach her dreams.

This was reported inThe Toronto Star of Sunday, 7 October 1984.

The Canadian Minister for Sport announced that the Federal Government was getting out of the lottery business for good because it was a tax on the poor, perhaps even an immoral way of collecting taxes. I would remind the Minister that this was a Canadian Minister for Sport. We had the former Minister with responsibility for sport speaking on this here. I want to ask him does he realise what the Government are attempting to do. I will show in a few minutes that this contribution I am making now has not been considered; if it has, it has been disregarded. That is what the Canadian Minister who operated these lotteries for years making hundreds of millions of dollars out of them has said.

There is no question but that lotteries are indirect taxation and statistics prove that lower income people spend a higher percentage of their income on tickets. It could be construed as an indirect tax on the poor. It honestly takes a bigger chunk out of the income of poor, working class people. The real poor do not have enough disposable income to spend on tickets. That is logical. It has been said on the Social Welfare Estimates, it has been said many times to the Minister and she accepts it, that people on lower incomes cannot afford to save anything but need every penny they have. That is why they cannot pay ESB bills or gas bills. These bills come once a month or every two months and because these people are on social welfare and have a very small amount of money, they cannot save any money to pay them. That is why they have no disposable income. That is why, when they go to buy lottery tickets and we get into this PR campaign, they will be tempted.

Why would they not be tempted when they see their children hungry, when they have not enough money to buy clothes for them, when they cannot send them on holidays or pay the rent and are always in trouble? Of course they will buy tickets. They are the first things they will buy before they buy the bread. It is the working classes who cannot save and cannot see a bright future who will pay. It gives them a fantasy. We are indulging in setting up a fantasy that they are going to win this huge amount of money and all their problems will be solved. That is not to mention what happened to the winners of the sweep. Most of them wasted all that money. The fantasy is fuelled by the publicity given to the people who win. For example, a Mr. Kelly of Ontario who won $13.9 million was a truck driver and his wife pressed clothes in a laundry. The poor get a lot of attention when they win and this encourages more people to buy tickets in an attempt to get out of their financial predicaments.

Three years ago the United Church, the Salvation Army and the Baptist Federation of Canada joined forces to urge Governments to get out of the morally reprehensible lottery business that has lent gambling a cloak of respectability. The Church said:

Millions of Canadians are now gamblers who never were in the past nor would be in the present without the aggressive promotion of lotteries by governments. With subtle deceptive advertising techniques they lure citizens to buy and "be a winner". When almost all of them will be losers, many losing money they can ill afford. Gambling is like drinking, copulating and driving fast cars.

It is a shabby and distasteful business when Governments cajole us into doing more of them. Government ought not to interfere by spending millions of taxpayers' money to get us to spend millions and millions more.

Is the Deputy still quoting from the same source?

No. I shall say I am quoting when I quote. We are going to engage in spending millions of pounds of the taxpayers' money in trying to convince them to spend more money buying gambling tickets. That is a crying shame, considering the body of social legislation and other gains that the Government have succeeded in putting together over the last few years from a bad start, given the state of the country when they came into power.

With the exception of the conversion of public funds, which is a crime, it is hard to imagine anything more irresponsible, profligate and reprehensible than politicians foisting lotteries on the citizens. If something is worth doing in the public sector, it is worth imposing taxes for it. If it is not worth taxing somebody for, it is not worth doing. It is an accepted fact that a higher percentage of tickets are being bought by low income groups who are being conned. The Government would be encouraging people to get £1 million tax free without having to do any work for it. That does not make sense and it is in conflict with entrepreneurship and the concept of making one's way in life which are put forward to us as commendable virtues.

The Minister for Finance has done an excellent job in his former ministry for Industry, Commerce and Tourism. He understands well the work ethic and the atmosphere for business. On the one hand, he is trying to encourage entrepreneurship and on the other he is now saying that if people buy tickets for this lottery the Government will provide prizes and these people will have a chance. The Government will say that everybody, not just the person who wins, will have a chance of winning this huge amount of easy money, tax free. They will never have to do anything for the rest of their lives; they are set up. That is what we are telling the people. We are thereby changing our philosophy and our policy. We are saying that success does not come by hard work, by entrepreneurship, by saving, by being careful, by education and opportunity and organising oneself. All the previous good work is now being undermined by going along the road of lotteries.

There is a naive presumption here, which nobody has thought about, that all these lotteries will be very successful and that we are all going to make a lot of money. All the references are to what we will do with the money. The argument from the Opposition side is that they do not like the idea of putting that money into the Exchequer funds. The former Minister with responsibility for sport on the Government side has told us where it should go, what group should get it, what should be built with it. Nobody has asked what will happen if the lotteries do not make money. The Ontario Lottery lost $50 million in its initial period. Have the Government taken into account what can happen if they lose money? That is a consideration not referred to in the legislation, which talks about shares and is very positive; but failures can happen. The work ethic will be slightly undermined.

We had the unsavoury period of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes which were supposed to have done so much for hospitals and for the nation but did not. The proceeds enriched a few people, but certainly did not enrich the nation. It muddied the name of the Irish nation all over the world. In Canada the growth of such legitimate gambling is causing grave concern to Gamblers Anonymous and the newly formed Canadian Foundation of Compulsive Gambling. I quote:

"Gamblers Anonymous has no figures but we know it is becoming a problem because of the phone calls we get from wives who see their husband is not bringing home his pay cheque any more, he is buying lottery tickets," a spokesman for Gamblers Anonymous said. "It is a destructive force, a dangerous thing and a man who cannot afford to give up say, $5 is spending $20 to $25 to buy dreams. You see them standing out in front of the lottery shops — and you don't see any cadillacs pull up."

What applies in other countries applies here too. I quote further:

"Advertising fuels the obsession", he says, "because you hate the thought of being left out of the good thing. That is what really does a lot of damage. These ads. tell you that you are going to miss out because you are not smart enough to buy a ticket." The phenomenal growth in the number of lotteries since they were legalised in 1976 only adds to the problem, acording to the executive director of the Gambling Foundation.

It is a proven fact that the increased availability of gambling will increase the number of people affected.

Large chunks of Welfare and Unemployment Insurance cheques are going to lotteries...

That applies to people whose income may be only £60 to £70 a week and who might be spending £100 a week on gambling. They say that their only hope is to get money some other way so they spend the extra money on lottery tickets. That is the serious approach which should be taken to this Bill. We are taking money away from the poorest by building up an unrealistic hope that they can succeed in this way. The average person does not know that the odds against winning are sometimes one million or perhaps two million to one. The poorest are also more apt to become compulsive gamblers because they cannot absorb the loss. A York University Social Science Professor, McCormack Smyth, says that lotteries are not just a regressive form of taxation. They are exploitative and "a form of political violence". "Lotteries are not an opportunity for the less fortunate because it is one they cannot afford", he said. "In a free society citizens are free from exploitation by the State but lotteries are consciously exploiting the weaknesses of people".

That is a summary of some of my thoughts and ideas about and research into this subject but my main regret is that I have to make this contribution in this House, that it was not considered serious enough to have second thoughts about it. In the last few years the two Government parties have been busy trying to put the economy right and they have not reviewed their work in that time which has been positive and helpful for the nation. If they did that exercise they would find that they have done a considerable amount. There are a great many numbers of enterprise schemes, community projects and funds which have been obtained from the youth employment levy. They have training schemes and AnCO courses and they have made a tremendous contribution in that time, a greater contribution than has been made previously in the history of the State. That is the path on which they should have continued. We will eventually get the things that are set out as the purposes of this Bill. It is very sad to see us throwing that aside and saying that we must bring in this lottery. We are only considering the short term gain. When we look at the make-up of it we are not sure if it will be good for the country. In the long term it will not be.

The debate on whether or not we should have a national lottery is really about whether or not we believe that the end justifies the means. It seems that the money derived from the national lottery is to be used for providing recreational facilities for the people. While it is undeniable that there is an urgent need to provide such facilities so as to encourage young people to engage in health leisure pursuits, it is not right to arbitrarily decide that we are willing to use any means possible to derive this money. I have been calling for the provision of such facilities, particularly for young people, in my campaign to have gaming machines banned. I realise that it is the lack of proper facilities which has led many young people to become addicted to gaming machines. They have nothing to do because they are unemployed or they are on long holidays from school. They wander into amusement halls to play the machines for a while. The machines offer them, a quick thrill and a way of escaping their boredom or dull life style. Many young people have become addicted to the machines as a direct result of the lack of facilities in their areas.

The same problems will arise in relation to lotteries. They will be used in the same way, even on a much wider scale, because it will be advertised widely and promoted by the Government. During my campaign in opposition to the proposal to raise the stakes and pay-outs of gaming machines and in an attempt to have it eliminated, I heard parents on many occasions both inside and outside my constituency crying our for proper leisure facilities to be provided. Now that the problem of the lack of facilities has been recognised it is proposed to raise the money to do this by introducing Government-sponsored gambling. It is equivalent to the Government raising the money by some other dubious means such as legalising something that is unacceptable to the community and using the money derived from it to provide facilities for young people. This will not continue because eventually it will break down.

Lotteries are no laughing matter and they are certainly no cause for glee. Some people seem to be delighted with the proposed introduction of them and they cannot wait for them. I have not met anybody, apart from one or two, who is opposed to them. They are very serious in that they can give rise to endless misery for many people. It is a common misconception that lotteries are some sort of harmless entertainment where everyone can have a flutter and one just might win. They give rise to the idea that to have money is good and to be without it shows either carelessness or idleness. A Dallas lifestyle will become something to which we all must aspire. We will be assaulted by pictures of people dancing up and down as they tell us and all the other unfortunates about what they intend to do with the huge sum of money they got. It will bring envy and jealousy into the community. We are going to play on the fantasies and on the disadvantages of the very people we claim we are out to help. It would be mostly poor people who would be attracted by a lottery. Those people who need an answer to monthly debts will see lottery tickest as the answer to their problems. The people who have a reasonable amount of money are those who know how to make a system work. They know that a lottery will not be the answer to their problems and they are not likely to invest in it. They know the unreasonable chances of winning a prize in such a lottery and they will have nothing to do with it. It will be those caught in the poverty trap who will take the plunge and wager large sums of money on their million-to-one chance at the big time.

Large sums of money will be generated for those who become involved in operating the lottery, as witnesed by the scramble of various organisations to have the running of the lottery awarded to them. It reminds me of the description used by the leader of the Labour Party in the Dáil in the late twenties, to which I will refer latter, when the legislation for the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes was going through the House. He described the various promoters as "tumbling over themselves to get hold of a charity". He described them as being "like the professional beggar who gets hold of the most decrepit child for exciting the charity of the public". That is exactly what happened. They got a blind child and held him out as a way of winning sympathy from the people so that they would buy tickets. That is disgraceful conduct and it happened in this country for decades. The Government are now picking up the mantle. In 1967, when New York State decided to bring in a lottery, the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes approached the Government then for permission to bring a lottery into this country and that they would run it, but fortunately they were refused. The leader of the Labour Party also referred to a proposal by the promoters of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes to use blind children before the world's press to draw tickets from the drum in the first draw in November 1930. Therefore, I was glad that they were not accepted to run the lottery.

In October 1985 I wrote to the then Minister referring to a press release which he made in relation to the national lottery. I told him that I was absolutely astounded that the Government should pursue such a course of action without having given the Members an opportunity to discuss it among themselves, particularly as I asked for that to be done. I said that this was definitely not democratic. I have to say that every day because of the way Bills are presented. I said that I thought the national lottery would be a national disaster and would contribute to widespread gambling and that the money taken in would be offset by the ongoing tragedy caused by gambling mania in the country. I am sure there will be amusement at this coming from me, because I had experienced cynical "know-allness" in relation to this subject and it would seem that I alone had studied it in depth and opposed it. It is grossly irresponsible for the Government to have dealt with this measure in the manner they did. It is part of the malaise of the Government and the reason they are so unpopular. The Minister wrote back and said "No one has expressed opposition in the way you do". Because the majority of people did not see anything wrong with it — it is usually the case that the majority of people do not even look at what is going through the House — it was not worth considering the minority view. It looks as if that will happen again on Thursday when we hold our referendum. The minority view does not count. As Noel Browne once said, it is not the size of the minority; it is the validity of the right. In this case, it is not because I am one person objecting, it is the validity of the case I am making. We are falling into the same trap.

There was a plea from the leader of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes. He said they were glad they were not awarded the lottery. There are lessons to be learned from this measure because of the way the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes ran their business beforehand. They were set up in legislation. Unsatisfactory things happened when the Irish Hospitals Sweepat the draw for the Irish Hospitals Sweeping for the lottery. I am not mentioning this to discuss that in particular, but to point out that it is important that this does not happen with this measure. That was a very sorry period in the history of this country. I would not be a party to implementing a proposal which would be carried out in the same slipshod and sometimes illegal manner as that was carried out.

In theIrish Independent of 29 June 1985 Mr. Paddy McGrath was speaking at the draw for the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes in Ballsbridge and he said that the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes were the only body in the country with the expertise, management and staff capable of making the lottery a success. They confidently expected to be asked to run the lottery on behalf of the nation. He described the telephone number figures quoted by other applicants as a source of amusement. They had been in the lottery business for almost 55 years and their record of achievement and integrity was there for all to see. It stood the test of time. He went on to praise their expertise and said luckily for this is country we were not dependent on imported expertise and had our own. He was referring to the fact that some expertise might have to be imported by An Post. Of course, that record is there but it is not there for all to see.

It is very difficult to get hold of the record of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes. It took me seven months to get my hands on the indepth report which was made by Joe McAnthony on the running of the Sweep in theSunday Independent of 21 January 1973. I quote:

Our investigations show also that the persons legally responsible for managing and controlling the Sweepstakes — the Associated Hospitals committee — are not fully aware of the true figures involved in the operations of the Sweep.

Nor are Dáil Deputies — even though it is Dáil Éireann which provides the authority by which the Sweepstakes are run.

These disclosures are only part of what must be one of the most extraordinary, yet least publicised, stories in modern Irish history.

The facts show that:

The Act which licenses the Sweep was so framed as to prevent the Irish public knowing the real amount of money spent in running the scheme.

The figures published by Hospitals Trust (1940) Ltd. after each sweepstake are considerably less than the true amount involved.

The hospitals receive only 75 per cent of the sum described as the Hospitals Fund — because the only tax on the Sweep is taken from the hospitals, not the organisers.

Agents of Hospitals Trust Ltd. are engaged in selling tickets abroad at prices far above those sanctioned by the Minister for Justice.

Leading shareholders in Hospitals Trust Ltd. have also been involved with a bookmaking group in buyingup ticket shares that would allow them to win their own prizes.

It goes on to illustrate the sorry saga of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes who asked to run this lottery and who are in the field for running it in the future. The Minister reserves in the Bill the right to select the company. As Deputy O'Kennedy said, An Post are not in the Bill. They smudged the name of Ireland throughout the world through the operation of the sweep. The editorial in thatSunday Independent as a result of this article asked the question:

Does the revenue brought in by illegal Sweep activities abroad still justify a Government involvement which clearly brings its own name into disrepute? Given mounting criticism in Canada and the view of a Department of Health spokesman that the Sweep's contributions to Irish hospitals expenses are now "insignificant", the answer must be no.

It went on to call for alternatives. It referred to the other question, which I will come to later, of the 1,000 people who were employed by the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes at that point.

Joe McAnthony's article asked the question where did the sweep's millions go? The article talked about the massive private fortunes built up since 1930. It talked about the tax exemption which is in the Bill and about which we must be very careful. The fortunes were built on the agreement signed by Hospitals Trust Limited in 1930 with a group from six Dublin hospitals which allowed the company to promote sweepstakes on the hospitals' behalf. As a result of that agreement, Hospitals Trust Limited are now being paid over £300,000 per year as a management fee for promoting the sweep. Over the past ten years they have received fees of £3.1 million. There is also a question on this legislation. Will whoever are running this lottery be answerable to the Minister for their performance, or will they be able to stick in a fee amounting to anything they like? That is absolutely critical. I do not see any mention of it. If the administration costs are 25 per cent, we will get a glossy report. All the semi-State companies are terrific at producing reports. My office is full of them. The IDA use their own PR company to produce a report telling us how great they are. That will happen.

I will refer to the headings to this article without mentioning anything else. They are all relevant to this Bill. These people have put themselves forward again. They ripped off the State and enriched themselves to the extent of untold millions. This article was suppressed. TheIrish Independent would not give me a copy of it. I could not get it anywhere. The Irish Hospital Sweepstakes would not give it to me. When the lottery came up I told them I was investigating lotteries and I knew they were putting their name forward. I asked could they give me some information and some details. I said an article was written for the Independent by Joe McAnthony and asked could they tell me when that was. There was a complete clamp down. There was no comment, no information. They were to come back to me for three months but never did so. Joe McAnthony is somewhere in Australia or Canada. He probably found he could not get a job too easily after writing that article. It was a first class piece of journalism. I invite the Government, Members of this House and the public to read it.

It is worthwhile reading that article again because it lets one know a little about the Irish character and nation and what happened in their name. I was an immigrant in Canada in the sixties. It is to my eternal shame that I sold those damn tickets on behalf of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes, not knowing that 95 per cent of the proceeds were not going into the pool; 95 per cent was being creamed off. This might give the Minister an idea of the kind of seamy business we are getting into. Those guys were content with using the hospitals as their front, with allowing the hospitals to pay the tax and with using the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and the nurses to show what an honest business it was. The argument I advanced when selling their tickets was that the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána was involved and drew the tickets. It was all so upright, holy and above board. Not only did they do all of that, but when somebody won a prize — I had better be careful about my wording — they even bought back shares out of the prize money because, being gambling and horse men, they figured they would get a little more money, knowing that a poor unfortunate with a chance of winning £50,000, in the days when that was worth in present day terms a couple of millions, would be willing to sell half, three-quarters or even the whole share for a small amount of money. That is how far those guys went.

I could not even get a copy of this article in the excellent Library in Leinster House. I pestered the National Library until I eventually got a copy by way of micro-film. It is not in the best condition but I should be glad to give it to anybody who wants it. In the article there is talk about tax exemption; it goes without saying that they did not pay tax. Then there is mention of smuggling rings, police raids, bribery costs, the burning of tickets, how they rigged the meetings they held, contending that the committee set up was a rubber stamp only. There is mention of overcharging for tickets abroad, the excess being retained. There was talk about breaking the law, that the last serious crack down against the sweepstake was made by none other than Robert Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States, in 1962 when he charged that lotteries like the sweep — our lovely Irish Sweepstakes — were an encouragement to organised crime and that the Mafia in New York were involved.

This is the kind of quasi-business we are going to try to get involved in. It should be remembered that when this was set up in the twenties the same laudable notions or sentiments were expressed. The article goes on about the tax trouble they ran into, the money kept abroad, contending that they used to rip off — it was only a small amount of money, nothing worth worrying about — £150,000 a week or £7.5 million a year at that time for their own benefit. The article contends that back in 1973 there was talk about spending £300,000 for benches provided for the women to count the tickets on. I might finish off with the first debate which took place about the sweep in 1920 in this House. I will talk about the tactics used to get this sweep going, to get the Government to allow them operate it. This article refers to a former Labour Party leader and strong opponent of the sweepstakes idea — they had to go back to 1920 to find somebody who opposed it as much as I did — Thomas Johnson. This article says:

Johnson, watching the ferment gathering over the idea of lotteries, said: "The professional promoters are tumbling over themselves to get hold of a charity. They are like the professional begger who gets hold of the most decrepit child for exciting the charity of the public"— the Sweep promoters were to use blind children before the world's press to draw tickets from the drum in the first Sweep in November 1930.

The article continues to say:

Later in the Senate, Johnson predicted that the Sweep was certain to become a powerful vested interest....

——was he not right?

...the use of influential public figures and their relatives as agents did turn the Sweep into a powerful vested interest. Johnson also said that once the sweepstakes created employment it would become virtually impossible to close them down and thus throw people out of work. This last argument became even more powerful when the employees were middle aged women, particularly widows.

The article continues on to say:

Lower ranking women employees are pensioned off at an average of £3.60 a week. Even with a State pension it would be impossible for them to survive if they have relatives to support. The promoters took care to ensure that the same problem would not face their families.

Under the heading of "Immense", the article continues:

The holdings in Hospitals Trust do not represent the true wealth which the promoters have built up over the years from the running of the Sweeps. Their main holding company, owned by Hospitals Trust Limited, is the Dodder Investment Company, which among other assets, holds £25 million worth of Waterford Glass shares. The promoters also have substantial holdings in property — the McGraths own the largest walled estate in Ireland — and in companies like the Irish Glass Bottle Company and in the Newbridge company which manufactures cutlery. Patrick McGrath is a director of 35 companies.

The final paragraph under that heading reads:

The development of financial interests outside the Sweep is partially due to the difficulties facing an illegal lottery in North America in the sixties.

Under the heading of "Takings hit", the article has this to say:

The Sweep itself tentatively approached the Irish Government about starting its own national lottery after New York passed a Bill to organise a lottery in that State in 1967 which they realised would hit their takings.

Were we not lucky that we did not give them the opportunity to run a lottery here because, on the basis of the money about which we are talking, up to £100 million, God knows how little would have reverted to the Irish taxpayer.

The article continues:

Objections from pools promoters, but more likely a civil service document critical of the running of the Sweep, which was circulated to all Government Ministers in 1966, was probably responsible for the Government turning down the request.

That brings me to the important task of the draftsmen of this Bill, to which I will refer later. It is vital that it be properly set up, with no possibility of any type of skulduggery, fiddling or creaming off. I think that is why there is more than one auditor of lotteries. That is included in the provisions of the Bill and I shall refer to that later. It is important that it be included. There is a limit to the charges for overheads, administration and so on that can be levied by the company who will run this lottery. That is not detailed. There is room there for control by the Minister. While I can see that that makes Deputy O'Kennedy unhappy, I can understand the necessity for the flexibility. I shall reserve my comments on that for Committee Stage.

Sweep revenue has decreased in importance to the hospitals over the years. According to the Government Information Bureau, in 1973 a sum of just over £1 million came from the sweeps towards the annual running costs of the hospitals of £64 million. Capital costs were also £1 million. By not framing the legislation properly we gave away a bonanza and the hospitals were used to encourage people to buy. I have no doubt that people bought those tickets in large measure because of the hospitals as well as the prize money. In the same way people buy tickets in small pools all over the country to support particular charities rather than in the hope of winning. The Department of Health spokesman described the sweeps' contribution to hospital costs today as insignificant. It is important that the Minister should bear this in mind. Under this legislation each Department will be approached for a project and money will be assigned to the Estimates for that Department. I can foresee many rows.

Despite the decreasing value of the sweeps to the hospitals the influence of the promoters in the community has increased as their wealth has accumulated. Even today large contributions are being made by the promoters' companies to political parties. One of their companies makes financial contributions to the three main political parties, following the practice of the founder.

For the Irish people as a whole approval of a lottery might not be so whole-hearted once they have discovered what is being practised in the name of their social services around the world as well as at home. They might feel it is time to change. The opportunities are there to make moves in this direction since many countries are successfully running their own sweeps. This is an opportunity for us not to continue but to let it fade away. There is no good reason for our becoming involved. It is easy to check the information I have put forward. I have been talking about other Governments and Ministers for Sport abroad, as well as national lotteries and lotteries in different provinces across North America. We have no experience of ultimate hardship to the people.

It has been conservatively suggested that the lottery may bring in £40 million in the first year, approximately half of which will be returned in prizes. We are then left with a figure of say, £20 million. Yesterday we dealt with the Bill which proposes to abolish malicious injury compensation because the State is incurring expenditure of £20 million as a result of claims. We are talking about trying to generate another £20 million. At what cost to the State is this £20 million to be generated? How many gamblers, alcoholics and broken homes will this produce? How much more will we have to pay in hospital charges? A whole list of social problems are associated with this. I quoted very responsible Church bodies and sociological groups in different parts of the world. We seem to be going into this willy-nilly and I believe we will not gain much from it.

We will, however, do something which will be irreversible. There will be a different kind of ethos from the one which has been promoted as the reason for rejecting the amendment, that is, the Catholic, Christian ethos. There will be an ethos minus the work ethic with the emphasis on gambling, drinking and enjoyment. The Government will be saying the very opposite to what they have been saying for the past few years. They are going to proclaim that the good times are here — live, love, laugh and be happy. They are going to encourage people to spend freely. The only way to sell this damn thing is by promoting it vigorously, otherwise huge losses will be suffered. Nobody has envisaged losses. What would the Government do if they lost £20 million or £30 million in the first year? That has happened in some places.

I am sure the Minister concerned has not had the time since he switched portfolios to go into this matter in great depth. The very thing he has been promoting for years, that is, the development of a climate for investment and work and the work ethic, goes out the window. We will no longer be able to promote the two things because they are contradictory. We are likely to lose much of the initiative and a lot of money by going for short term gains, which I do not think can be justified by any stretch of the imagination.

It appears that what he predicted will definitely happen and because of that it is important to put something on the record as a tribute to the memory of the Leader of the Labour Party in the twenties. It is great to think that that man had such foresight and courage. I do not know how many members the Labour Party had in the House at that time but they were one of the earliest democratic parties. It is marvellous to think that 66 years later he had forecast that, but nobody took any notice of him. Through the decades, apart from the series of articles by Joe McAnthony in 1973, we were all duped and we sang the praises of the people who were entrusted with the job of running the biggest lottery the country has ever known. It was all false, phoney and a cheat. The people we entrusted with that job — under the Bill the Minister has power to entrust that power to a company — defrauded us of millions of pounds and enriched themselves out of it. It is important to mention that connection because one or two Members feel the same way about it.

I am glad the Opposition are against the Bill because I was afraid it would be passed unanimously. They are questioning the provisions for different reasons. It is very silly to push the money into the Estimates area where it will be swallowed up and will not have any great effect. I should like to deal with the Minister's contribution and what he said he wants to do. Will the Minister explain how An Post will run the lottery? I am sure the measure will be passed by the House, in spite of what I have said, but I hope some precautions are taken. I must make it clear that what I have said about the legislation does not cast any reflection on those who prepared it. They were asked, in producing the Bill, to take certain precautions to ensure that the lottery was run properly for the benefit of the nation and they certainly did their homework and produced an excellent piece of legislation. I have outlined the provisions I feel should be corrected and I hope the Minister will consider my suggestions between now and Committee Stage.

We are all aware it is the intention to give An Post the authority to run the lottery although it is not mentioned in the Bill, but how will that organisation run the lottery? Will they be in a monopoly, like the ESB and other semi-State bodies? Bearing in mind what I said about the way the sweepstake was run on behalf of the nation, will the Minister outline the precautions he has taken to ensure that we do not have a repeat of what happened in that case?

We must ensure that the overheads are not allowed to ride too high. We should not accept whatever bill An Post send in or the amount they deduct from revenue to run the lottery. I want to ensure that this will not be a monster funded by the poor.

It is worth bearing in mind that the lottery does not have to make a profit like a business concern. How long will it be until we get fed up with the national lottery? What provision has the Minister in the Bill for easing out of the lottery? It must be remembered that countries who have sponsored national lotteries for the past ten years or so have decided to stop them. What arrangements has the Minister made for phasing out the lottery, the payment of redundancies and so on, if the lottery is not successful or if we decide on moral grounds to abandon it? Will there be constant monitoring of its operations and due cognisance taken of the contributions from the different elements in our society? Will the Minister set up a monitoring unit in the Department of Social Welfare, or in his own Department, to prepare honest information on how the lottery is performing, who is spending the money on the tickets and the effect it is having on our society? Will the Minister consider assigning the ESRI, or some such organisation, to keep an eye on things and monitor it annually? If it is found to be damaging society we should step in and stop it.

I could be very dramatic about this and suggest that instead of the tablets on the buildings that will be built with funds from the national lottery stating that the buildings were opened by the Taoiseach, or a Minister, on a certain date it should be stated that the building was a tribute to the poor and hungry of Seán McDermott Street, or the poor and hungry of Ireland. Will those tablets bear the inscription that the poor and hungry provided the building out of their meagre resources? Will they give credit to the unemployed or the disadvantaged because the money will come from those people? Will the inscription state that the building was in honour of the sweat, tears and hardship of the poor who were so downtrodden, oppressed and lacking in opportunity that they spent a large portion of their money on lottery tickets to fund community halls or swimming pools in Foxrock or other well-off districts? We must not forget it is the advantaged in our society who can avail of the various facilities. One finds that facilities in less well off areas, such as the regional college in Ballyfermot, are not used by those from well off areas. They have had to close down the swimming pool in Ballyfermot on certain days in the week because it was not being used.

The Deputy is in deep water now because he is departing from the terms of the Bill.

I may be, but I am not in as deep as the Government. I am not a gambling man and I oppose that practice but I would bet my bottom dollar that they are on a loser in regard to this. This is pathetic legislation. The tragedy is that it has not been considered carefully by anybody other than those who decided to introduce it.

Yesterday, in order to cut public expenditure, we had the Malicious Injuries Bill. InBuilding on Reality the Government decided to bring in a national lottery. That is the only information we have had. We were not told why it was being brought in. Wait until we find out what the money will be spent on. Will it be on the arts and culture? We do not know the meaning of them here and we do nothing about them even though we have a Minister of State responsible. The Government have not got a clue only of how to exploit the names of writers and artists whom they banned and abused over the decades and did not even support, and still barely support, except for the efforts Deputy Haughey made.

God help us all. They spent £27 million restoring the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, but they should see the driveway up to it. It is full of broken cars with a grotty entrance full of filth and dirt. They would never think of lining it with trees or doing something decent with it. They are the kind of problems we are running into because of this Bill. It is not unfair to labour that point. I have said where the money will come from. It is nothing to people who have money to take £1 or £5 out of their pockets.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted, and 20 Members being present,

I was finishing off the point that I hope due recognition will be given to the people who will provide the money out of which these community buildings, swimming pools and sports stadia will be built. I hope they will not be dedicated to the Minister of the day, that they will be in recognition of the poor people from whom the money came. I hope the Government realise that they may be taking the money from the hands of poor children who will then not have money to look after themselves.

I was about to refer to the provisions of the Bill. I do not find any problems with certain sections. One of the most important is the definition section. I want to make sure that we will not slip up and allow in other forms of gaming or gambling because of the proposed change in the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act. It would be unfortunate if that happened. I know it is not the intention to do that but it could happen very easily.

There are different forms of legislation that could have been introduced to legalise the national lottery. There are the English, the American and the Canadian models. The English Act gives the contract for gaming to a private concern, such as Littlewoods, for example, in return for a tax based on a percentage of sales. Within fairly loose parameters, private sector enterprise operates it as it wishes. On the other hand, the American model is based on a very rigid legislative operation, more akin to a Government Department. It precludes Government involvement in the operation except in the appointment of senior officials. The Act details limited prizes, expenses, reporting, games, etc., and restricts flexibility of management. The Canadian model introduces the Crown corporation concept, which approximates to the Irish semi-State body. The enabling Act established a corporation with the Minister as a shareholder and the power to appoint a board of directors for its overseas operations. By regulation, the Government retain control but allow flexibility in management. Through the board, the Minister makes his wishes known, but it is always the board who make decisions.

That is more or less the model we have adopted here. Of the three models, the Canadian approach recognises the two main features of a Government lottery. On the one hand it is like a private sector firm, committed to making a profit; on the other hand it is an instrument of Government policy and influence and should act in a manner which would enhance Government policy. Depending on the model adopted, legislation can quickly eliminate or minimise either element to the detriment of the overall initiative.

The programme that any company running a State lottery would administer involves contracts and there is one very important feature of which I hope the Minister will take cognisance. Though there are thousands of retailers in Ireland, only about 1,000 will eventually receive lottery terminals, and through commissions and increased trade the recipients of those terminals will realise improved profitability. Retailer selection factors need not stop at locations alone. Depending on the type of technology to be installed, the number of jobs will be dictated. I saw in a document somewhere that there will be employment for about 80 people, and I would point out to the Minister that most of the people employed in the Irish Hospitals Sweeps were widows and ladies. If the most moddern technology is to be used here there will be very few people working in the national lottery.

Debate adjourned.