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Government recommends upping society lotteries’ annual limit to £100m in new consultation

Government recommends upping society lotteries’ annual limit to £100m in new consultation

The Government is recommending raising the maximum amount society can raise for good causes from £10 million to £100 million per year.

A consultation into society lotteries opened on 29 June into on changes to the amount of money they can raise for good causes.  

The Government recommends increasing the maximum draw prize from its current limit of £400,000 to £500,000. The consultation also asks for views on recommendations to increase the number of tickets society lotteries can sell to a value of £100 million per year and the amount they can raise per draw to £5 million.

Society lotteries raised over £255 million for good causes in 2016/17 but the individual draw limit for large society lotteries was last raised in 2009. The Gambling Act sets the current limits for society lotteries as £4 million sales per draw, £10 million sales per year and a maximum draw prize of £400,000.

The consultation follows the sector’s calls for limits to be increased. It will run for ten weeks and is open to members of the public. 

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society said:

“Society lotteries make a vital difference to communities up and down the country. They raise hundreds of millions of pounds every year, supporting our veterans, lifeboats, hospices, air ambulances and many other great causes. They are an important fundraising tool for charities and we want to ensure that both society lotteries and the National Lottery are able to thrive now and in the future.”

The Institute of Fundraising, Lotteries Council and Hospice Lottery Association wrote to Crouch in March this year, calling for the consultation to be brought forward following House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee recommendation in 2015.

In response to the news of the consultation, Daniel Fluskey, IoF Head of Policy and External Affairs, said:

“We are pleased that DCMS have published this consultation to review society lotteries. We know that the current system restricts how much charities can raise through the limits set and welcome this opportunity to review how the system can work better so we can raise more money for good causes and beneficiaries. We look forward to discussing the proposals with our members and engaging with DCMS through this process.” 

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) also welcomed the announcement.

Nicole Wastell, Lottery Manager at EHAAT said:

“Essex & Herts Air Ambulance will soon reach the £10 million annual sales turnover limit set by the current lottery regulations. Unless the regulations are changed, we will be forced to take out a new licence and restructure our existing lottery, at an estimated total cost of £100,000. 

“As a charity which receives no central Government funding we believe our supporters across Essex & Hertfordshire would prefer us to spend this money delivering our life-saving service.

“Each year our Critical Care Teams are called to over 1,000 life-threatening incidents, at a total cost of £6.5 million. £100,000 could pay for us to attend an extra 40 missions or equip 65 premises, such as our charity shops, with defibrillators.”

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 www.thepurplepim.com.

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