Lottery deregulation a “mistake” says leading body

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Issue of society lottery deregulation becoming increasingly divisive 

17th March 2015 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

The issue of deregulating society lotteries has taken another twist after charity leaders group Acevo called further deregulation a “mistake”.

It made the call as it submitted evidence to the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of a consultation on the role of society lotteries.

Acevo said any further deregulation of the sector would undermine public trust in society lotteries and would “worsen the creep” of commercial gambling companies into the voluntary sector.

It said current lottery regulation was “an essential protection for the third sector and for the wider public”.

Acevo's director of public policy, Asheem Singh, said: “Any government plans to deregulate lotteries would be bad for society, and good for gambling companies’ profits.

The government must understand that society lottery regulations serve a valuable purpose

“Society lottery regulation should remove barriers to entry for non-commercial organisations, but avoid allowing commercial operators to directly compete with good cause bodies – without donating to any good causes themselves.

“The government must understand that society lottery regulations serve a valuable purpose. Any attempt to water them down would reflect badly on its sense of social purpose.”

The issue is becoming increasingly divisive in the sector with society lotteries, such as the People’s Postcode Lottery, lobbying robustly for a relaxation of regulation in a bid to increase their prize funds to boost turnover and expand the market.

While the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is also reluctant to see full-scale deregulation of society lotteries, the Institute of Fundraising and a number of other bodies want more freedom for smaller charities to start a social lottery and for an increase in the annual lottery income cap from £10 million to £100m.

This push is being backed by a recent nfpSynergy report which claimed that 74% of the 1,000 people surveyed supported the notion that charities running society lotteries should be able to make as much money from them as the National Lottery does.

20th March 2015 by Jake Knight

I fully support an increase of the annual cap and an amendment to the 80:20 rule. The increase is the most important. An increase would allow more money to go to good causes.