Irish deputy prime minister, or Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore has confirmed that the Government is considering selling off the National Lottery as part of its review of state assets.
The National Lottery raised €244 million for charity in 2010. Since it was established 22 years ago it has raised over €3.6 billion for charity, supporting the themes of youth, sports and amenities; health and welfare; arts, culture and national heritage, and the Irish Language.
Mr Gilmore told RTE News that the coalition was committed to selling off €2 billion worth of assets and that it was looking into how much the sale of the National Lottery and other assets could generate.
He said: "No decision has been made. It’s a case of the Government looking at what the options are and that’s one of the options."
He added that, if it were to be sold, the government would ensure that the amount it contributes to community, arts and sports initiatives would be protected.
Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of charity umbrella group, The Wheel, said the National Lottery sale must not adversely affect charities in Ireland. She added that if the lottery were sold off consideration should be given to a model similar to that in the UK.