INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Prize competition laws pose a threat


The Institute is working in partnership with the Charity Law Association (CLA) to formulate a joint response to the Government's consultation "A safe bet to success

and on prize competitions.

Although many of the Government's proposals have met with widespread approval, the Institute and CLA are anxious to maintain the distinction between the legal definition of lotteries (which only good causes can benefit from) and prize competitions. This distinction currently rests on the requirement for lotteries to involve chance alone and for prize competitions to involve a "substantial degree of skill". But what does "a substantial degree of skill

actually mean?

Prize competitions, such as those linked to products or TV programmes involving premium rate lines, generate a lot of money. The main concern of the Institute and CLA is that a relaxation of the definition of prize competitions might endanger the link between charities and games of chance.

However, if the Government relaxes this distinction then the Institute and the CLA are calling for the re-establishment of the link between good causes and games of chance by determining that at least 20 per cent of the proceeds of prize competitions should by law go to good causes.

The two organisations will also be pushing for clarification of aspects of the Gaming Board's existing guidance so that charities have consistent advice in this complicated regulatory field.

- For further information about the consultation or the joint work of the Institute and CLA, please contact Jenny Walters on 020 7627 3436 or email

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