is the relationship between the International Federation and
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
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”
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.
Director, Revenue Generation
International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies