Record level of funds raised for good causes by society lotteries

Figures from the Gambling Commission show £255.6m was raised in the year to March 2017

Society lotteries: record figures
Society lotteries: record figures

Society lotteries generated more money for good causes in the year to March 2017 than ever before.

Figures published by the Gambling Commission on Friday revealed that Britain's 491 society lotteries raised £255.6m, up from £212.1m in 2016 and £190.6m in 2015.

Malcolm Fleming, a spokesman for the Lotteries Council, which represents society lotteries, said one of the reasons for the increase was that the percentage of sales income going to good causes had risen from 43 per cent to 43.6 per cent.

Fleming added: "Additionally, society lotteries across the country have been working hard to engage players in the win-win nature of society lotteries."

The funds generated by the Health Lottery, which consists of 51 local lotteries across Britain operating under one brand, have significantly increased the amounts raised by society lotteries since it was launched in September 2011.

Jo Bucci, chair of the Lotteries Council, said in a statement that 2016/17 had been "a fantastic year of fundraising by the country's society lotteries".

But Bucci said a simple change to the law governing society lotteries would help to raise even more for good causes.

She said: "We hope to raise even more this year, but more and more of the lotteries we represent are having their fundraising capped by the sales limits in gambling law.

"These limits are increasingly out of date, and the Lotteries Council urges the government to bring forward plans to raise the limits and help us contribute even more to good causes."

The council has proposed an increase in prize values from £25,000 to £100,000, an increase in the permissible amount of ticket sales in a single draw from £4m to £10m and an increase in the annual income cap on a society lottery from £10m to £100m.

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