MPs renew calls for charity lotteries cap increase to £100m

11 Apr 2019 News

Politicians have renewed calls for the government to raise the annual sales limit on society lotteries to £100m, after the increase was proposed last year.

The reform was proposed by the regulating body the Gambling Commission and was backed in a consultation by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last year.

DCMS has yet to publish its response to the report but has now said it expects to do so in the next few months.

In the meantime, politicians in Westminster and Holyrood have brought forward motions calling for the increase to be enacted.

The motions came from David Amess, MP for Southend West in Westminster and Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian in Holyrood.

Majority of MPs support the change

The moves follow an opinion poll of MPs, which showed that 55 per cent supported the increase to a £100m limit, with 15 per cent against and the rest undecided. 

Amess said: “Charity lotteries, such as those managed by People’s Postcode Lottery, do great work in raising money for good causes and charities across the country.

“With the stroke of a pen, culture secretary Jeremy Wright and charity minister Mims Davies have an opportunity to dramatically increase the amount of funding available to the charity sector – I and my colleagues urge them to take it.”

Briggs similarly said: “The proposal to raise the sales limit for charity lotteries would have an immediate and very positive impact on the level of funding available to charities – it would also ensure that the charity lottery model for funding charities is sustainable for the years ahead.

“The government has an opportunity to make a decision that will be of obvious benefit to charities and good causes – it is one they should not miss.”

DCMS to report on consultation

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport closed a consultation on society lotteries in September 2018 and hopes to present its findings in the next few months.

A spokesperson for DCMS told Civil Society News said: “Society lotteries make an important difference to communities across the country, and raise hundreds of millions of pounds every year for good causes.

"We have recently consulted on a range of options, including increasing society lottery sales and prize limits, and are considering the evidence. We hope to respond in the first half of this year."

In June 2018, DCMS suggested increasing the maximum society lotteries can raise from ticket sales from £10m to £100m per year, with the amount per draw increasing to £5m.

It also suggested raising the prize limit from £400,000 to £500,000.

Its consultation document said this was “likely to increase the amount of money societies can raise for good causes”.

'Show of strength'

Malcolm Fleming, head of public affairs at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It is great to see such a cross-party show of strength from right across the UK in support of raising the current caps on charity lottery fundraising.

“It is a recognition that these changes will help charity lotteries cut bureaucracy and administration at no cost to the taxpayer.

“The new limits are backed by charities, the Gambling Commission, MPs and the public – we hope they will be implemented as soon as possible.”

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