As the Deputy is aware, I announced in April 2012 that there will be a competition for the next National Lottery licence. It is envisaged that the competition will commence shortly.
I have advised retailer representative bodies that it is my intention to safeguard the existing rates of commission paid to retailers under the terms of the next licence. Section 27(2)(c) of the National Lottery Bill 2012 provides that the provisions of the licence governing rates of commission payable to retailers may not be amended.
I acknowledge the concerns of retailers and the importance to them of income from National Lottery sales, particularly in the current economic climate. I am also aware of the central role which retailers have played in the great success of the National Lottery since its inception. It is envisaged that retailers will continue to be central to the operation of the National Lottery over the 20 year term of the next licence. I am confident that there will be strong growth in National Lottery sales under the next licence with an alignment of interests between the next licence holder, retailers and the State, reaping benefits for all concerned.