01/13/2014 01:31 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan renews lottery agreement with sports and culture groups

REGINA - Sports, culture and recreation organizations in Saskatchewan will benefit from lotteries in the province for at least five more years.

The province has renewed an agreement whereby it supplies a percentage of lottery sales to more than 12,000 volunteer-run groups.

Kevin Doherty, minister of parks, culture and sports, says the money goes a long way to provide services.

He says almost $54 million was funnelled back into communities from lotteries in the last fiscal year.

That's 27 per cent of just over $200 million that was brought in through lottery sales.

The money is distributed through the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund by Sask Sport, SaskCulture and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

"Over 500,00 people access sport, cultural and recreation activities in this province," Doherty said Monday. "We think it's money that's well spent. We think it's money that's being properly utilized by those organizations and by all the organizations that they fund."