Raise sales limits on society lotteries, government told

04 Dec 2017 News

The chair of the Lotteries Council has called on the government to lift sales limits in gambling law in order to help members “contribute even more to good causes”, after announcing society lotteries contributed over £250m to charity this year.

UK society lotteries raised £255.6m this year, up from £212.1m delivered to charity in the previous year, according to the latest gaming industry figures published by the Gambling Commission.

Total ticket sales were £586.6m, of which 43.6 per cent went to charity.

The industry statistics report covers April 2014 up to March 2017.

The Gambling Act 2005 says that total ticket sales of a society lottery must not reach £250,000 in one calendar year or else it will be considered “a large lottery” by the Gambling Commission and “may only be run under a lottery operating licence”.

Jo Bucci, chair of the Lotteries Council, called the limits “increasingly out of date” and urged the government to “bring forward plans to raise the limits”.

“Support from the players of society lotteries fund a wide range of causes including hospices, air ambulances, sports clubs, health charities, animal welfare and support for the elderly to name just a few,” said Bucci.

“We hope to raise even more this year, however more and more of the lotteries we represent are seeing their fundraising capped by the sales limits in gambling law. These limits are increasingly out of date and the Lotteries Council urge the UK Government to bring forward plans to raise the limits and help us contribute even more to good causes.”     

They show that 491 different society lotteries in the UK raised £255.6m for charities over the last year. This means £43.4m more went to charity - a 20.6 per cent increase.

Bucci said: “These new statistics highlight a fantastic year of fundraising by the country’s society lotteries. We are delighted that society lotteries are raising even more for charities large and small. A £43.4m increase over the year reflects lots of hard work by our member organisations, but our main thanks goes to the players of society lotteries who are making an increasingly valuable contribution.”

Society lotteries stand in stark contrast to the fortunes of the National Lottery, which has seen ticket sales fall by over 3 per cent in the last year which has in turn seen the amount being delivered to good causes fall by nearly 5 per cent

Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, appointed a new chief executive in November and announced they would be looking to make some changes to Lotto in 2018 "without the upheaval caused by changing the numbers matrix or price again". 


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