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We interviewed Paul Daly, Manager of Celtic Pools, about how the organisation raises money for the Celtic Youth Academy.

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What is the Celtic Pools?

Celtic Development Pools Ltd is the official lottery operator of Celtic FC, and has been raising money for the Club for over 50 years.

Celtic Pools currently has three main products which offer supporters the chance to win some fantastic prizes whilst playing their part in the future of the club:

All net proceeds from the Weekly Lottery, Paradise Windfall and Prize Draws are donated to the Celtic Youth Academy, based at the Lennoxtown Training Complex.

37% of all income generated from the Weekly Lottery is invested into the Youth Academy.

30% is paid back out in Prizes, offering a Rollover of up to £25,000 and a guaranteed Top Prize of £4,000 available every week.

When was the Celtic Pools started?

Celtic Pools started in 1964 as a small organisation with the Celtic Development Fund raising money for the club by operating a draw at Celtic Park.

Celtic Development Pools Ltd was incorporated in 1968 by founding directors Desmond White and James Farrell, with ex-Celtic player Johnny Bonnar taking on the role of Sales Manager.

With the Club being crowned Champions of Europe the previous season and highly thought of around the world, Club officials wanted to “provide a ground and setting worthy of the Club’s great reputation and provide suitable comforts and amenities to those attending Celtic Park.”

To meet these demands and ensure sufficient funds were available, Celtic Development Pools Ltd was tasked with using the Celtic Pools Competition to generate investment, commencing 10th August at the start of the 1968/69 season.

How has the Celtic Pools changed over the years?

From 1968 through to 1994, there were various regulation changes to the 1976 Lotteries and Amusement Act, and the Weekly Pools Competition became more aligned with lotteries, with the price of the product increasing to £1.

The Paradise Windfall was introduced in 1995 and has been a major lotteries fundraiser right up until the present day.

In 2000 the beneficiary was changed, with all the proceeds directed towards the Celtic Youth Academy.

The Prize format of the Weekly Lottery has never changed in over 50 years.

Members are still allocated a set of unique numbers and the winning combinations are determined by the combination of football scores.

To this day this way of operating is still highly regarded and provides a transparent process in the selections of winning entries.

How does the Celtic Pools work today?

A network of Pools Agents has always been vital to the success of the Weekly Lottery, with local Agents collecting stake money from family, friends and work colleagues.

At present there are still over 500 Agents, some of them still collecting cash whilst others encouraging supporters to join and play by Direct Debit.

With around 50% of members now paying by Direct Debit it’s the easiest way to get involved.

Playing the Weekly Pool is easy – there is no skill required, as Lottery numbers are randomly issued. There is also no need to claim prizes, because winnings are paid out automatically.

Celtic Development Pools Ltd continues to lead the way in the sector, operating the biggest Weekly Lottery in UK football as well as the biggest half-time Draw/Lottery in UK football.

Utilising new technology and leading the way once more in the sector, Celtic Pools also recently introduced a new mobile app, which you can download for iOS and Android devices.

The future looks bright, the future is green and white!

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