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Lotteries Council chief calls for faster reform of ‘outdated’ law

Lotteries Council chief calls for faster reform of ‘outdated’ law

Changes to the current legislation on society could help charities raise more funds, Council Chair Jo Bucci has said.

Last month, the Institute of Fundraising, the Hospice Lotteries Association and the Lotteries Council wrote a joint letter to Ministers, pointing out that three years had elapsed since an all-party report of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee had backed raising the fundraising limits imposed on charity lotteries and calling on the Government to speed up its process to reform the law in this area. 

The three organisations are calling for the Government to:

  • Increase the permissible amount of ticket sales for a single draw from £4 million to £10 million.
  • Increase the annual income cap on any society lottery from £10 million to £100 million.
  • Increase prize values from £25,000 to £100,000 (for lotteries with less than £250,000 in the draw).
  • Allow the aggregation of the 20% minimum charity contribution rule over an extended period for newly created lotteries,  as they have start-up costs in their early years.

According to the Lotteries Council, a government fear had been that reduced regulation could impact on sales of National Lottery tickets. However, it says, recent modelling by the Gambling Commission has shown that society lottery sales have had no significant impact on National Lottery sales, while a report published earlier this month by the all-party Public Accounts Committee said that the recent decline in National Lottery income during 2016-17 was attributed to factors relating to the management of the National Lottery and not to any competition from elsewhere.

Speaking at last week’s Lotteries Council Annual Conference in Warwick, Bucci called on legislators to do more to help.

She said:

“Despite the growth of our sector over the past year it remains a large frustration that we could be achieving even more for charities and good causes if it were not for the out-dated law on society lotteries contained in the Gambling Act. We are the only fundraising sector with limits on the amount we can raise for good causes – something which does seem quite bizarre when we know so many good causes are in need of funds.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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