09 September 2014

Society Lotteries

On 24 July 2014 the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched an inquiry into society lotteries.

Society lotteries (also known as raffles) are promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society, such as a charity. The Committee wishes to examine the role of society lotteries and the following specific issues:

  • how to ensure that the market delivers maximum benefit to good causes;
  • whether there is a case for relaxing the regulatory requirements relating either to the minimum amount of proceeds that a society lottery has to return to good causes or in other areas; and
  • the comparative regulatory positions and protections attaching to society lotteries, the Health Lottery and the National Lottery.

Currently, a limit of £4m worth of tickets can be sold for a single society lottery draw and a minimum of 20% of the proceeds must go to good causes. The Lotteries Council, a membership body that represents charity lotteries, and the Institute of Fundraising commissioned a study to consider measures which would increase the fundraising potential of society lotteries. The study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, recommended relaxing restrictions on individual prize, draw and turnover limits.

The mid-year figures released by the Gambling Commission for October 2012-September 2013 show that money raised by society lotteries for good causes grew by 6% to £163m. However, this growth was slower than in the previous two years, when income grew more than 50% from £100m in 2009-2012 to £153m in 2011-12.

Organisations and individuals can respond to the inquiry by sending written submissions online through the Committee’s ‘Society Lotteries’ inquiry webpage no later than 6 October 2014. The Committee is expected to hold two or three evidence sessions from early October and to publish a report on its finding in late November.

Category: Article