Acevo opposes plans to loosen rules that govern society lotteries

The chief executives body was responding to a government consultation that proposed reducing the amount that should go to good causes

Society lotteries include the Health Lottery
Society lotteries include the Health Lottery

The charity chief executives body Acevo has said it is opposed to proposals to loosen the rules governing society lotteries, such as the Health Lottery.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport consultation on society lotteries, which closed last week, asked whether the requirement that at least 20 per cent of a society lottery’s proceeds must go to good causes should be reduced.

A statement made today by Acevo about its consultation response said the "wholesale deregulation of lotteries would be a mistake".

The umbrella body said that any future deregulation would worsen the "creep" of commercial gambling companies into the society lottery sector and reduce the amount of money that goes to good causes.

Acevo said that the existing regulations were "an essential protection for the third sector and for the wider public".

It said that private gambling companies would be the main beneficiaries of any future deregulation. These organisations would be able to scale up and outperform small society lotteries, Acevo warned.

It also said that deregulation would undermine public trust and understanding of charity lotteries.

Asheem Singh, director of public policy at Acevo, said that any government plans to deregulate society lotteries would be "bad for society and good for gambling companies’ profits".

He said: "Society lottery regulation should remove barriers to entry for non-commercial organisations, but avoid allowing commercial operators to directly compete with ‘good-cause’ bodies – without donating to any good causes themselves.

"The government must understand that society lottery regulations serve a valuable purpose. Any attempt to water them down would reflect badly on its sense of social purpose."

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations said in its response last week that the case for large-scale deregulation had not been made and substantial changes might "impact on the way the public views society lotteries and the charities associated with them".

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