Memorandum submitted by the Lotteries
The Lotteries Council's Executive Committee
did not meet until 25 April, which was after the deadline for
notice of the wish to submit oral evidence. Therefore, our Gambling
Review working group members were consulted beforehand and it
was resolved to confine our response to these written comments
on this occasion.
Whilst the Lotteries Council regrets that the
recommendations of the Gambling Review Body were not met in full,
we nevertheless acknowledge that the Government's decisions go
much of the way to meeting the majority of the concerns we have
articulated. The Council anticipates that the resultant legislation
will meet the immediate practical needs of the bulk of the membership
provided that the new limits are implemented by means of statutory
instrument before the end of this calendar year, and provided
that they are reviewed regularly thereafter.
The Council believes that the proposals which
advocated the removal of monetary limits for societies' lotteriesproposals
which originated from the Gaming Boardshould have been
implemented in full and that any danger which this might pose
to the National Lottery has been greatly overstated. The Government
has stated its desire to help charities in their fundraising efforts.
It is essential therefore that healthy society lotteries continue
to exist in order that people may exercise their individual freedoms
of choice as to the specific cause they wish to support; something
which is not possible when entering the National Lottery.
The Council is also aware that participation
by the public in charitable giving is in decline. This will almost
inevitably lead to the Government having to take on a heavier
burden if societies' lotteries are not enabled to make up the
shortfall; a function well worth the tax concession on their stake
There also remains concern on the part of individual
members of the Council over the lack of compromise on the one-per-24
hour rule for on-line draws. The proposal by the Government is
vague. In order not to prejudice smaller societies there should
be flexibility so as to allow at least one such draw for a particular
game per society per day, or one draw per society per day, and
above all that any particular shop can sell a draw per day for
more than just one society.
We also advocate that a distinction be made
between the current definition of on-line draws and lotteries
which may be entered by premium rate or reverse charge telephone
call, the internet, or other electronic means. Such ticket-less
lotteries could be operated by small societies as something distinct
from on-line draws, and would enable a higher percentage of the
stake money to go to good causes.
Particularly welcome is the decision not to
require all society lotteries to share the burden of financing
the Gambling Commission. This will be a great relief to small
organisations operating through local authority registrations.
The Council hopes that this is evidence of a general recognition
by the Government of the principle that societies' charity fundraising
is not on an equal footing with commercial forms of gambling in
respect of the funding of the Gambling Commission.
The Council also warmly welcomes the invitation
from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to be involved
in the ongoing consultation with other interested bodies in the
consideration of the deferred items and the process leading to
the drafting of a gambling Bill: important matters of detail remain
to be addressed.
Finally we would ask if members of the Committee
are aware that if a visitor from "a place outside the British
Islands and the member states" were to purchase a ticket
in a raffle organised by one of their constituency parties and
subsequently win a prize after returning home, the promoter or
any other party member would be "guilty of an offence"
if they were to send the prize to the winner?
These absurdities of Section 2(1)(d), (e) and
(f) of the 1976 Lotteries and Amusements Act have been ignored
by the Government's proposals (paragraph 122). How is it that
tickets or advertisements can be circulated throughout "the
British Islands and the member states" but the lottery not
be promoted nor conducted there? Do the members of the Committee
share the Council's view that it was partly to address such peculiarities
that the Review Body was set up?
27 April 2002