National lottery struggles as Germans pinch pennies

National lottery struggles as Germans pinch pennies
Photo: DPA
Germany's Lotto announced on Friday that it has seen rapidly declining sales as the weak economy forces average Germans to abstain from playing the lottery.

Revenues are down by more than 12 percent to €6.04 million since last year, the German Lotto and Toto football betting association in Stuttgart announced. Losses are battering different gambling organisations as well as charities that depending on lottery funding.

“The impact of the financial crisis is hitting us too,” Friedhelm Repnik, director of the Toto Lotto Association of Baden-Württemberg said in a statement.

A firmer grip on pocketbooks isn’t the only problem for the national lottery, it’s also pure luck. There hasn’t been a win of more than €20 million in the last year, discouraging frenzied jackpot sales. Online gambling has also seduced customers from the old-fashioned lottery, though it will be illegal in 2009.

The German government has a monopoly on gambling in Germany, with some €2 million in profits going to charities and social projects in 2008.