Gordon Brown has predicted that major Scottish arts, community and cultural projects could lose millions of pounds of national lottery funding after independence.
The former prime minister said it was doubtful that the UK lottery could be shared in the same way after a yes vote, leaving many Scottish cultural institutions, sports, charities and community groups unable to access millions of pounds of grants.
In the latest of a series of speeches on the case for a no vote, Brown is due to tell the Borders book festival in Melrose later on Saturday that Scotland has done disproportionately well from the lottery.
Scottish projects, including the new V&A centre in Dundee, the Bannockburn visitors' centre, the Falkirk wheel and the National Gallery in Edinburgh had all benefited from nearly £2.5bn in funding since the lottery began in 1994.
The Heritage Lottery Fund, the largest funder of museums and galleries in the UK, had provided £600m in grants to more than 3,300 Scottish projects, spending 30% more per head in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Scotland's main arts body, Creative Scotland, receives a third of its grant-funding from the lottery, £33m this year.
The Scottish government argues that the UK lottery could be maintained after independence if there was a legal agreement between the two governments; the UK government has resisted that, arguing it is legally very complex.
The Euromillions lottery is not structured in the same way as the UK lottery: it is shared between respective national lotteries. Brown said it was far from clear the UK system could operate in the same way, although Scotland could easily set up its own smaller and less-well funded operation.
"No one says that lotteries will cease altogether in an independent Scotland – but the bigger the pool and the bigger the stage, the bigger the number of players, the bigger the prizes and the bigger the grants to Scottish organisations," he said.
"Seventy per cent of Scots play the lottery – around 1.6 million Scottish households – and yet the prizes are as large as they are because 17 million households across the UK contribute to the pool, creating huge economies of scale throughout the country."
He said the lottery was another concrete example of valued and shared institutions being put at risk by breaking up the UK.
"I speak of the national lottery as an illustration of many good causes like Comic Relief and Children in Need which have a UK dimension. They are part of the culture and institutions built up by Scots with English, Welsh and Northern Irish people that are accepted as institutions which we enjoy being a part of," he said.
A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "The national lottery is played by millions of people across the UK, and the money it raises supports sport and culture across the whole of the UK. A new Scottish state would have no automatic right to continue being part of the UK national lottery."
A Scottish government spokesman said DCMS was wrong: "The National Lottery will continue to operate in an independent Scotland and we will ensure that Scotland continues to receive its fair share of funding from the National Lottery.
"However, many decisions are still made at a UK-wide level but in an independent Scotland, all decisions about the distribution of good cause money will be made in Scotland to ensure that the needs of local communities are met."
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