Annual sales limit for society lotteries 'will rise to £50m'

After consulting on society lottery reform, the government says the maximum will rise from £10m and the maximum draw prize will go up to £500,000

Lotteries: thresholds raised
Lotteries: thresholds raised

The annual sales limit for society lotteries will be raised to £50m, the government has said, half of what was originally mooted last year.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport response to a consultation on society lottery reform, published today, said the maximum annual sales limit for society lotteries would increase five-fold from the current limit of £10m.

The maximum draw prize for society lotteries will also increase, from £400,000 to £500,000, the DCMS said, and the individual per-draw sales limit will go up from £4m to £5m.

The announcement does not state when the new limits will be introduced.

Launching the consultation last year, the government signalled it would raise the annual sales limit to £100m, but now says it will up increase the limit to £50m and aims to release a consultation at a later date on raising the limit further to £100m.

The limits had previously not been increased in about a decade.

The Gambling Commission will also consult at a later date on tightening the licensing framework for society lotteries, and will in particular look at how the proceeds of the lotteries are used and which good causes benefit.

Last year, the Gambling Commission said that good-cause income from society lotteries had risen by £40m to £296m.

Income available for good causes at the National Lottery fell slightly to £1.65bn in 2017/18, recent figures from Camelot show.

Mims Davies, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: "I am immensely proud of the exceptional role that the National Lottery has played in Britain over the past 25 years. We want to protect its special place and these changes strike the right balance to ensure that both the National Lottery and society lotteries can thrive.

"The National Lottery raises vast sums for good causes, and society lotteries play a vital role in supporting local charities and grass-roots organisations. These measures will ensure we create the best landscape so people across our communities can continue to benefit."

Clara Govier, managing director at the People’s Postcode Lottery, welcomed the reforms.

"A £50m limit is a very welcome and highly significant milestone on our journey towards a truly transformative £100m limit.

"The time for action is now and we’d like to see the £50m limit introduced as a priority. We know there is strong support for this change from charities.

"Our message to government has always been ‘let us do more’. I am delighted that our work, and the minister’s decision, will allow us to do exactly that."

The government will also consult on whether to raise the minimum age from 16 to 18 for players of some National Lottery scratchcards and online instant win games.

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