Society lottery good-cause income up by £40m last year

The latest figures from the Gambling Commission show they raised £296m for good causes last year

Society lotteries raised £296m for good causes last year, an increase of £40m on the previous year, according to new statistics released by the Gambling Commission.

The statistics, which cover the year to March 2018 and were published yesterday, also show a 1.5 per cent increase in contributions to good causes from the National Lottery, which now tops £1.51bn.

This shows that National Lottery funding for good causes has recovered from 2016/17, when it fell to £1.49bn from £1.79bn in 2015/16.

The Lotteries Council said this year’s figures showed that reforms to allow society lotteries to raise more money should be introduced by the government, and these lotteries could peacefully coexist with the more established National Lottery.

A consultation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, published earlier this year, asked for views about raising the limits on the amount society lotteries could raise from £10m to £100m.

The consultation also suggested increasing the maximum draw prize to £500,000 from its existing limit of £400,000, and the amount these lotteries could raise per draw to £5m, compared with the existing level of £4m.

Responses to the consultation are still being analysed by the DCMS.

A spokesman for the Lotteries Council said more public awareness of society lotteries could be one reason behind the rise in income.

Tony Vick, chair of the Lotteries Council, said: "Given the tough charity fundraising climate, this growth in income is very welcome.

"We also welcome that both charity lottery funding and National Lottery funding are on growth trajectories, which is a ‘win-win’ for the country and makes clear that both types of lottery can grow together."

Malcolm Fleming, chair of the Lotteries Council’s Public Affairs Committee, said the new statistics showed that the fall in National Lottery funding for good causes that occurred in 2016/17 was being reversed.

"That National Lottery good-cause funding is back on a growth trajectory again, alongside a growth in charity lottery good-cause funding, backs up recent Gambling Commission modelling that showed charity lottery sales don’t affect the National Lottery.

"The Lotteries Council is calling on the UK government to bring forward changes in the law to help charity lotteries grow their funding to good causes, and these latest statistics further strengthen the case for those changes."

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