Sports Funding: Australia to introduce a National Lottery Scheme

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw International Sports Lawyer

Following the country’s worst performance in twenty-four years in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, in which Australia finished tenth in the medals’ table, it has been announced that the Federal Government is to introduce a National Lottery to boost funding for its sportspersons.

The Lottery will be modelled along the lines of the UK National Lottery, which has contributed funding and led to the success of British sportspersons in recent Olympics.

The Australian Sports Minister, Greg Hunt, envisages that the Lottery could contribute up to A$50 million (US$38.7 million) in additional funding for Australian sportspersons.

He stated that “if it is legislated and highly-regulated, and it’s a public good lottery ……In 30, 50 and 100 years it will still be here and providing a way to support participation and support performance for Australian sport.”

He added that he was looking at a model, through which two-thirds of the proceeds from the Lottery would go to sport, and that the management of the Lottery would be put out to tender by the Government and the proceeds would be channelled through the Australian Sports Commission.

The Australian Olympic Committee has welcomed this development, and its chief executive, Matt Carroll, has stated that “every athlete, every team, every sport needs a plan to succeed so this initiative is critical for Australia’s sporting future.”

It will be interesting to see if this new Lottery, when introduced, will, in fact, reverse Australia’s past poor performances in future Olympics.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’