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Lottery body calls government review "timid"

This news post is 11 months old

Far more was expected to expand the role of society lotteries in the UK

The body representing lotteries in the UK said it is disappointed at the UK government’s ‘timid’ review of 2020 Society Lottery reforms.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has this week published the long-awaited “one year review of society lotteries sales and prize limits.” 

The review findings have been met with disappointment by the Lotteries Council - the industry representative body of Britain’s society lottery sector. 

Despite acknowledging that “the increased limits are bedding in well and are beginning to have the intended effect of allowing the society lotteries sector to grow and return more to good causes, whilst also maintaining the unique position of the National Lottery” DCMS conclude that it is “too soon to reach any firm conclusions on the impact of the changes, especially during a time that the effect of the Covid pandemic has made any evaluation more difficult.” 

The council said it is left disappointed at the timid findings of the review as well as the lack of clarity around any future proposed action to support the continued growth of the society lottery sector, given DCMS previously supported a £100m annual sales limit for operators. 

The body is also concerned that key issues raised directly by the society lottery sector during the consultation have been left unengaged, such as the impact of current draw limits on the ability to offer the maximum allowable prize of £500,000 in order to boost ticket sales and thus returns to good causes.

Commenting, Lotteries Council Chair, Tony Vick said: “We are delighted that DCMS acknowledges that the principal aims of the government’s society lottery are off to a flying start – with the biggest lotteries delivering more for good causes and sector expenses as a whole falling. Crucially, DCMS acknowledges that society lottery growth is having no discernible impact on the National Lottery. 

“It is therefore perplexing that DCMS has cited Covid as the reason for opting not to make a firmer decision on the full success of the 2020 society lottery reforms, given the vital charitable fundraising our sector undertook during the pandemic. 

“The Lotteries Council is disappointed that DCMS has reached its conclusion despite the responsible Minister unfortunately being unable to make time to meet with the sector, while partly basing their decision upon unpublished Gambling Commission data.” 

It is now calling on the government to clarify how it now intends to fulfil its commitment to see the society lottery sector continue to thrive and maximise returns to good causes across the country.



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