Debate: What should be in the government's consultation on society lotteries?

Camelot says the minimum contribution they make to charities should rise and their costs be capped at 15 per cent

Jo Bucci is managing director of the People's Postcode Lottery

The government has a huge opportunity to help society lotteries generate more income for good causes through its consultation. The People's Postcode Lottery and our sector partners want to engage in a holistic debate that focuses on getting the most out of society lotteries, rather than one that seeks to restrict our ability to support good causes. Tens of millions of pounds in additional support could be generated each year by increasing the prize, draw and turnover limits of society lotteries. So the real question is: what's stopping us?

 

Richard Simmonite is commercial manager of St Giles Hospice Lottery

The National Lottery is protected by legislation, whereas society lotteries are governed by the Gambling Act - a totally different beast. Society lotteries are businesses providing funds in support of causes that compete against not only each other but also the other demands on a householder's income. Playing a society lottery is seen by most people as a way of making a donation, not a gamble. But, like all businesses, society lotteries need to speculate to accumulate: if you restrict expenditure, the risk is they would rein in costs until they cease to exist.

 

Andrew O'Brien is senior policy officer at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations

The consultation should focus on ensuring society lotteries can deliver as much money as possible to good causes. We need a balance between having few regulatory barriers to setting up lotteries and preserving public trust in them. The consultation should look at whether increasing the current minimum proportion of 20 per cent to the cause would increase funds that go to charities without constraining smaller lotteries. The consultation is a welcome measure: I hope we can have a constructive conversation about how to get the best outcome.


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