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Society lottery short codes for mobile phones to be ready for Christmas?

Society lottery short codes for mobile phones to be ready for Christmas?

Five-digit short codes will soon be available to enable charities to expand lotteries and raffles to mobile phones and devices.

Updates on their introduction are expected to be reported today by the mobile networks at a conference at Cancer Research UK’s offices held by The Association for Interactive Media &Micropayments (AIMM), the trade association of bodies involved in mobile messaging, payment and entertainment.

Society lottery short codes

The five-digit society lottery short codes will be used to take payments from mobile phone accounts to pay for Society Lottery tickets. Starting with 72XXX, they will work in a similar way to text donation short codes, which start with 70XXX.

Currently charities can not use donation short codes for lottery payments. The new distinctive codes will enable that to change.

All payments will be made from player’s mobile phone accounts.


Simulated mobile society lottery code, by RSM 2000 Ltd

Simulated mobile society lottery play, by RSM 2000 Ltd


How will they be used?

The 72XXX codes are expected to offer a simple and straightforward method of paying to enter society lottery games. These will include:

·         Lotteries

·         Raffles

·         Instant Win games

·         Competitions

Roger Craven, manager of Vir2 Mobile services at RSM 2000, explained: “We practically all look at Facebook and Twitter on mobile devices. Society lottery short codes allow charities to capitalise on the sense of urgency created by rollovers, bonus plays and time limited opportunities to trigger additional plays from existing members and to acquire new players using posters, digital, TV and radio channels.”

Dedicated or shared codes?

As with text donations, charities will have the choice of buying their own dedicated short codes for fundraising campaigns, or take the lower cost option of using a shared short code. 

With the latter – Vir2 Mobile, RSM 2000’s SMS platform offers 72020 – each charity can rent one or more keywords on the code that are unique to that organisation. The supplier system will match the unique keyword from the player to the relevant charity and lottery.

Not surprisingly, there is expected to be some competition to secure popular keywords on shared numbers, such as Play, Win, Ticket, Bonus.

The new codes will also enable players to use keywords to trigger a single payment or a regular payment, including weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

Further approval required

Delegates at the London conference will hear that any games played using the new short codes will need regulatory approval from the Gambling Commission and the Phonepaid Services Authority.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that the first services will be introduced in time for Christmas raffles.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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