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What is the relationship between the International Federation and PLUS Lotto?

There has been some controversy about the International Federation’s involvement in the Internet lottery, PLUS Lotto. Press reports have raised some valid questions, but they have also misrepresented the association between the Federation and the lottery game. To ensure that the debate on this subject is constructive, it is important to clarify the structure of PLUS Lotto and the nature of the Federation’s participation.

PLUS Lotto is a non-profit, charitable lottery played on the Internet. It is administered by the International Lottery in Liechtenstein (InterLotto) Foundation, which is authorized and managed by the Liechtenstein government. PLUS Lotto is not a lottery run by the Federation.

The lottery offers two types of games. One is a weekly draw held every Friday in Liechtenstein, in which players select six numbers between one and 49 for the Mega Bucks game, or six numbers between one and 25 for the Big Easy Game. There are also a variety of instant-win games. For these games, players purchase a virtual card and use PLUS Lotto’s interactive features to “scratch off” winning numbers.

The Federation is the primary beneficiary receiving 25 per cent of the gross revenue. Seventy-five per cent of the funds donated are returned to the National Society of the country where the game was played. The other 25 per cent is used by the Federation to support its global projects.

The use of the Federation’s logo has been allowed on the World Wide Web pages of PLUS Lotto to inform people of the charitable destination of the money earned from the lottery. This is allowed only according to strict guidelines, and the Federation retains veto rights on its use.

Each National Society has the choice of whether or not they will accept the revenue, and the degree to which they will promote the lottery. In several countries, where the legal framework is not clear, the lottery has been blocked by the InterLotto Foundation. This was done not because it was required, but rather out of respect for the local situation. To date, 28 National Societies have indicated that they were in a position to promote PLUS Lotto actively in their countries.

The reality of the world today demands that a humanitarian agency be both in-novative and willing to take risks to ensure its relevance and existence for the future. This includes moving beyond traditional funding sources and developing alternatives. The Federation is taking a leading role in the use of the Internet as a fund-raising tool.

Dwight Mihalicz
Director, Revenue Generation
International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies



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