Lotteries Council chair Clive Mollett calls for reduction in restrictions on society lotteries

Mollett says growth in the society lotteries sector is inhibited by regulatory constraints

Clive Mollett
Clive Mollett

The Lotteries Council is continuing to call for the government to reduce its restrictions on society lotteries following the publication of figures that show growth is slowing down. 

Mid-year figures from the Gambling Commission for October 2012 to September 2013 show that money raised for good causes by society lotteries grew by £10m, or six per cent, to £163m.

But this growth was slower than in the previous two years, when income from society lotteries grew by more than 50 per cent from £100m in 2009/10 to £153m in 2011/12.

The Lotteries Council, a membership body that represents charity lotteries, has repeated its call to reduce restrictions before a long-awaited consultation on the regulation of charity lotteries, proposed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The membership body and the Institute of Fundraising recently commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research to undertake a study to consider measures that would increase the fundraising potential of society lotteries. The report suggested that reducing restrictions on the operation of society lotteries would dramatically improve their ability to generate more income for good causes.

Recommendations include a relaxation on individual prize, draw and turnover limits, in order to help increase the amount raised for good causes by society lotteries. Under existing rules, a society lottery must give a minimum of 20 per cent of the proceeds to good causes and a maximum of £4m worth of tickets can be sold for one draw.

Clive Mollett, chair of the Lotteries Council, said: "Although we are delighted that once again the Gambling Commission’s figures show charitable proceeds from society lotteries have increased, we are concerned that growth in the sector is not as strong as it could be because of the regulatory constraints in which our members operate.

"We urge the government to use its upcoming consultation, scheduled for this summer, to reduce some of the unnecessary restrictions imposed on society lotteries. Such a move would deliver more money for good causes at a time when they need it the most."

Steve Greenberg, head of individual giving at RNIB, said much of the regulation of society lotteries was "unnecessary and overly restrictive" and called on the government to use the forthcoming consultation to "implement progressive changes and help society lotteries deliver even more support to good causes". He said: "With deregulation in the sector, we would like the administrative burden placed upon charities to be reduced and for society lotteries to be allowed to achieve more."

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