by Joep Dohmen en Kees Versteegh

Former Novib employee Boudewijn Poelmann and three other founders of the Goede Doelen Loterijen (Good Cause Lotteries) have received nearly 80 million Euros (78,4 million) from private companies for their national and international lottery activities since the launch of their first lotteries in 1989. This is for license fees, salaries and proceeds of the sale of shares. This has become apparent through an inventory carried out by NRC Handelsblad.

Up till now it was unknown what the founders themselves made for the work they did for the lotteries, which operated within a protected market. The government issues a limited number of licenses for this. Lottery managers always emphasize the public interest of the Good Cause Lotteries, where half of the proceeds (5.5 billion since 1989) went to hundreds of social organizations.


This Tuesday, the Postal Code Lottery, one of the Good Cause Lotteries, will be celebrating its 25-year anniversary during the annual Goed Geld Gala (Good Money Gala) in Amsterdam. Premier Rutte will also be present there.

The total money flow from the Dutch lotteries to Novamedia, the founders’ company, was worth over a quarter of a billion (277 million) Euros during the past 25 years. That money was used, among other things, to set up additional good cause lotteries in Great Britain and Sweden.

Two of the four founders have resigned by now and one is deceased. Boudewijn Poelmann is the only one that is still active for the Good Cause Lotteries in Europe.

BRITISH lottery did not comply with dutch law

It has come to light that the British lottery, People’s Postcode Lottery, was in conflict with the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act, by offering Bingo and a variation of Black Jack on its website on which people could participate from the Netherlands. Dutch gamers received emails in Dutch and were able to use a Dutch banking service (Ideal). This particular portal for Dutch participants was shut down by Novamedia mid-January.

The People’s Postcode Lottery is used by Novamedia, among other things, for experimenting with online gambling. The Rutte cabinet is planning to open online gaming on the market, starting in 2015.  An intense lobby battle is currently going on between the Good Cause Lotteries and the big foreign parties, such as Pokerstars, Betfair and Bwin, over the concept –bill on Distance Gaming proposed by Fred Teeven (VVD, Safety and Justice).