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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Lotteries Council call for sweeping changes ahead of election


Society lotteries raise £420m in the UK

The Lotteries Council is urging Britain’s next government to implement a raft of policies to better support the fundraising work of charity lottery operators countrywide.

It has launched its sector manifesto for the forthcoming general election, in a bid to implement changes that will make fundraising easier and better regulated.

Society lotteries in Britain currently raise over £420 million for charities and good causes at no cost to the taxpayer. In a time where charitable giving as a whole has been shown to be falling as a result of cost-of-living pressures, society lotteries have proven a resilient income stream for many charities, who value the long term, unrestricted nature of player-generated funding.

Held back by a heavy burden of regulation, the sector is calling for removal of the £50 million annual sales cap. Last raised by the Conservative government in 2020, analysis shows that removing the cap would free up an additional £175 million for charities over the next parliament.

The sector is also calling for removal of the ‘ten percent rule’ which states that the maximum prize cannot be more than ten percent of the value of the tickets in any one draw. The sector proposes that the market set its own limit – while continuing to ensure multi-million prizes remain the sole preserve of the National Lottery.

Should the next parliament opt to proceed with a mandatory gambling levy to support problem gambling initiatives, the sector is calling on MPs to zero-rate charity lotteries and maintain contributions on a voluntary basis, as is proposed for the National Lottery. As a collection of low risk, not-for-profit operators, the council believes it unfair that their member operators tied up in a framework designed for high-risk commercial gambling.

The sector calls for the incoming government to proceed with DCMS’s proposed consultation on regulating million-pound prize draws, which prove hard for consumers to distinguish from not-for-profit charity lotteries.

Prize Draws like Omaze operate for profit and are unregulated by gambling legislation. Unlike charity lotteries, they are subject to no minimum charitable return.

Lastly, the sector is calling for reform of the remote gambling licence regime. Many charity lottery operators rely on face-to-face fundraising. Providing players with a QR code or link to sign-up qualifies as a remote sale – even when both parties are stood in front of one another. Such methods, standard practice in today’s digital world, can trigger significant additional regulations.

The council is calling for the £250,000 full remote licence threshold to be significantly increased or abolished and for audit requirements to be made less onerous.

Lotteries Council chair, Tony Vick said: “Against a challenging backdrop for charitable fundraising, society lotteries continue to provide resilient funds for good causes across Great Britain. Despite our mission, we remain mired in all sorts of needless bureaucracy, as well as the growth of unfair, unregulated competition from million-pound prize draw.”

Nick Cook, Lotteries Council chair of public affairs, added: “Our manifesto provides a raft of common sense solutions, mainly requiring secondary legislation, which together could generate hundreds of millions in charitable funding over the lifetime of the next parliament. Crucially, the forthcoming parliament must deliver action, in addition to warm words of support.”



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