Lotteries consultation 'will call for rise in good cause money'

Delegates at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention are told the government will propose that society lotteries should give 25 per cent of proceeds to good causes - up from 20 per cent

Lotteries: Government consultation
Lotteries: Government consultation

The government's forthcoming consultation on society lotteries is expected to propose that the minimum proportion of ticket proceeds that must go to good causes should rise from 20 to at least 25 per cent, Clive Mollett, chair of the Lotteries Council, told delegates yesterday.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said last year that it planned to run a consultation on society lotteries - those for the benefit of non-commercial organisations - that has yet to be published.

But Mollett, whose organisation represents charities and companies that run lotteries to raise money for charities, told delegates that the consultation was still expected to go ahead.

He said he understood from various sources that the paper would propose increasing the proportion of ticket proceeds that must go to good causes from the current minimum of 20 per cent under the so-called "80:20 rule".

Mollett said: "Our understanding is there will be a consultation. The best indication is that 20 per cent will go up to 25 per cent at the very least, and possibly more. It is not beyond the bounds of belief that they might introduce some other complexities or difficulties into it."

He said there was "no chance" that the consultation would propose a reduction in the good causes contribution.

Some charities that run lotteries have expressed concern that an increase in the minimum contribution to good causes would not leave them with enough money to spend on overheads or recruiting additional players. Mollett urged charities to lobby their MPs to oppose an increase in the minimum contribution to good causes.

He also said charities should make their lottery publicity look different from that of their peers and use different databases so that people would not receive multiple requests to take part in lotteries.

Mollett said charities should also consider other new developments, such as rollovers, and larger stakes, such as raffling hard-to-sell homes left to charities as legacies.

"Some of you will work for organisations with legacy portfolios of houses you cannot shift because the market is dead," he said. "Why on earth has someone not taken up the opportunity to raffle a house?"

The consultation was first mooted after the National Lottery operator, Camelot, failed in its bid to get a judicial review of the decision to award licences to its rival, the Health Lottery.

The Health Lottery operates as a network of 51 society lotteries under one brand and donates 20 per cent of its ticket price to good causes. The National Lottery donates 28 per cent.

- Read more on this year's IoF National Convention

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