Government proposes changes to lottery law

Plus: consultation on social impact bonds, guidance on slavery and trafficking, and a guide to whistleblowing

Lotteries: law changes
Lotteries: law changes

The government has laid before parliament a draft order to amend schedule 11 to the Gambling Act 2015 to make it easier for small-scale lotteries to be used to raise money for charities and other good causes. If approved, the Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016 will come into force on 6 April next year.

The proposals include allowing incidental lotteries to take place at both commercial and non-commercial events. Fundraising lotteries could then be offered by, for example, pubs, clubs, shops, concerts, festivals and trade fairs at their events. It would also become possible for private society, work and residents' lotteries to be promoted for purposes other than private gain.

SIB consultation

The government has launched a consultation on making it easier for companies that deliver spot-purchase social impact bonds to be eligible for investments that attract social investment tax relief.

In a spot-purchase SIB, a social impact contractor will, over time, enter into any number of SIB contracts in substantially the same form with different contracting authorities. Each contract commits the social impact contractor to deliver the same outcome for a set price, such that a contracting authority can "buy" outcomes for as few as one beneficiary. The existing rules require a social impact contractor that delivers spot-purchase SIBs to seek accreditation for each separate contract it has with different contracting authorities.

Slavery and trafficking

The Home Office has published guidance on the requirement for organisations with global turnovers above £36m to publish slavery and human trafficking statements in each financial year ending on or after 31 March 2016.

The guidance says that if a relevant organisation is incorporated and engages in commercial activities, it will need to comply, regardless of the purpose for which its profits are made. Larger charities that are established as corporate bodies will therefore need to consider whether they are required to make such statements. The guidance sets out the basic statutory requirements, gives advice on what can be included in the statement and includes helpful case studies on various topics that may be included in the statement. Organisations are encouraged to report within six months of the financial year-end to which the statement relates.

Whistleblowing guide

The Charity Commission has issued guidance highlighting its role as a prescribed person to whom charity employees can make protected disclosures about serious wrongdoing at their charities under the whistleblowing regime. There is nothing particularly new in this guidance, but it is indicative of the commission's ongoing efforts to raise its game in respect of tackling the issue.

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