New requirements for society lottery operators announced

14 Dec 2017 News

The Gambling Commission has announced two new requirements that society lotteries will have adhere to from next year.

From 4 April 2018 all lotteries will have to make it clear to consumers before they buy a ticket exactly which society or charity the lottery proceeds are going to.

Lotteries will also have to publish what proportion of money raised from ticket sales in the previous year was returned directly for the purposes of the society.

The changes followed a consultation run by the Gambling Commission from July to September this year, which received 27 responses including 11 charities.

The Commission said in its response that it plans to make a number of other revisions to Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice in 2018.

Sarah Gardner, the Commission’s executive director for lotteries, said: “In lotteries, we know that players are motivated by a range of things, particularly the chance to contribute to good causes, so it is only right that they understand what that means in practice.

“Our regulatory approach puts consumers right at the heart of everything that we do. This has been built on further in our new three-year strategy, where we say we will consider whether any further changes are necessary to ensure that society lotteries can continue to make important contributions to society, whilst being run in a way which is fair and safe for consumers.

“In particular, we have said it is important that information is available for consumers to help them to understand which good causes are being supported and how much of their money goes to the good cause.”

Jo Bucci, chair of the Lotteries Council, welcomed the Gambling Commission’s plans “to increase transparency of society lottery proceeds, a proposal we supported at the consultation stage”.

She said: “We also welcome the Commission’s decision to take note of the feedback they received on the issue of promotion of multiple society lotteries through a single brand, as we were concerned that the original proposals could have made promotion of such lotteries more difficult. We support their revised provisions in this area.”

Westminster Hall debate

Meanwhile, the future of society lotteries, the Health Lottery and limits on prize values were discussed on Tuesday in a Westminster Hall debate.

Charities minister Tracey Crouch said she didn’t think it was necessasary for society lotteries to have higher limits on prize values in order to thrive.

She said: “It is no coincidence that when the national lottery draws have big rollovers, there is an increase in ticket sales—bigger prizes attract more players—but I do not think people are attracted to society lotteries in the same way.

“Many large society lotteries offer relatively low prizes but are still thriving […] It is not always about the size of the prize; what is important is maintaining the balance and variety currently on offer.”


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