Share

Gambling Commission acted ‘impeccably’ in working with lawful Health Lottery, court hears

Royal Courts of Justice
News

Gambling Commission acted ‘impeccably’ in working with lawful Health Lottery, court hears

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 13 Jul 2012

The Gambling Commission has defended its decisions in dealing with the Health Lottery as “impeccable” in its response to a claim by the National Lottery operator for a judicial review of its actions.

The Gambling Commission yesterday got to respond to the case brought against it by Camelot over its decision not to have a wide-ranging review of the Health Lottery. Camelot is seeking a judicial review of the Gambling Commission’s actions.

James Goudie QC, acting for the Gambling Commission, confirmed that the Commission does have some ongoing concerns about the Health Lottery, but said it is addressing these in a review of the marketing and promotion of the scheme, and in ongoing dealings with the Health Lottery and the 51 societies which hire it as an external lottery manager.

Despite these concerns, the Gambling Commission does not consider the Health Lottery unlawful, he said. When it was proposed, the Commission judged that the Health Lottery scheme ran close to the borders of the law, but Goudie said the regulator was and is confident the scheme can operate in compliance with the law. As a result, he argued, the Commission was obliged to grant licences to the operator and community interest companies (CICs) and subsequently monitor how the scheme was rolled out.

“That’s an impeccable approach. The approach of the Commission has been impeccable throughout,” said Goudie.  

“These were matters that could only be monitored over time.”

Referring to communications between the Commission and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, revealed in court on Wednesday, Goudie said that the Commission had been acting within its responsibilities as regulator in informing the DCMS that it thought the scheme was legitimately utilising a “loophole” in legislation and that the DCMS or Secretary of State might want to introduce some certainty into the law.

Goudie said the fact that it had brought the loophole to the attention of the Department demonstrates that the Commission had always viewed the Health Lottery as operating legally. “There is only a loophole if one believes the scheme is lawful,” he said.

Goudie dismissed Camelot’s position, represented by Lord Pannick QC in the hearing on Wednesday, that the scheme is undermined by the fact that the 51 societies were set up with a view to creating to the Health Lottery. Goudie argued that the critical point is that those CICs were themselves not established for non-commercial purpose and that they benefit their local communities.

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating, because [the Health Lottery] has raised millions of pounds for good causes up and down the country,” said Goudie.

“It would be a tragedy if that would be terminated.”

Earlier this month the Health Lottery announced that it had raised £20m for good causes since launching in October 2011.

Goudie said that the Gambling Commission was surprised at how the Health Lottery was presented at its launch last year, and immediately “hauled” in the Health Lottery and the CICs involved. Since that point however, he said, “it is a story of constant and continuing progress”.  In particular he said the Commission was pleased with moves by the CICs to develop a stronger presence in their regions.

“The Commission remains more concerned at this point about the way the scheme is being marketed,” he said. “There has been good progress, but not enough.”

The Gambling Commission last month announced a review into the marketing and promotion of the Health Lottery, but Goudie said it has not ceased monitoring the operation as a whole nor discounted the idea of holding another review into the licences in the future.

Goudie added, however, that there was no specific time frame in which the Commission was obliged to conduct a licence review should it feel one is necessary, and added that it was right for the Commission to consider things such as its own capacity, the difficulty of the case and likelihood of success in deciding whether to take regulatory action against an operator.

Starting on Wednesday this has been a rolled-up hearing which means that should the judges decide that a judicial review is warranted, that review will take place immediately.

The Health Lottery and the 51 CICs are represented at the hearing as interested parties and are yet to have their own arguments heard by the court. The hearing continues.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Cafod’s total income rises by 9 per cent

28 Jul 2015

Catholic Aid for Overseas Development’s total income rose by £4.8m to £56m in the year ending 31 March...

Call centre charity threatened with closure and loss of more than 400 jobs

27 Jul 2015

More than 400 charity sector jobs are at risk after Broadcasting Support Services, a charity helpline...

NAO report criticises Cabinet Office for 'weak oversight' of £50m fund

23 Jul 2015

The Cabinet Office has been criticised by the National Audit Office for weak design and poor oversight...

Kids Company's See the Child campaign failed to secure any funding or launch promised task force

28 Jul 2015

Kids Company has admitted that it has so far failed to find £1.5m funding for a promised task force or...

Daughter wins £164,000 payout after legal battle with charities over mother’s will

28 Jul 2015

Three animal charities have said they are "very concerned" after losing the right to remain the sole beneficiaries...

Big Lottery Fund announce three new appointments to senior team

24 Jul 2015

The Big Lottery Fund has announced the appointment of three people to senior management roles.

JustGiving launches free guide for charities on how to use data

7 Jul 2015

JustGiving launched a free guide yesterday to help charities use data to shape fundraising strategies....

Institute of Fundraising unveils new mobile-compatible website

3 Jul 2015

The Institute of Fundraising has unveiled a new mobile-compatible website which it says better “reflects...

Get a mobile compatible website or lose donors, Google executive tells charity conference

2 Jul 2015

It is "not an option" for charities to have websites which don't work on mobile, because donors are increasingly...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising