UK Govt Urged To Speed Up Charity Lottery Reforms

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On Sunday 25 March, three years to the day since a Parliamentary report backed raising the fundraising limits imposed on charity lotteries, the UK Government was called to speed up its process to reform the law in this area. 

The Lotteries Council, The Institute of Fundraising and the Hospice Lotteries Association have now written a joint letter to the Government on the matter. 

The three organisations, who all gave evidence to the original House of Commons, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry, which reported on 25th March 2015, are concerned at the length of time it is taking the Government to raise the fundraising limits and provide a final response to the committee report.

They feel it is of particular concern because the fundraising limits are now impacting on an increasing number of charity lotteries – restricting their ability to raise funds for good causes. 

On Thursday 22 March Sport and Civil Society Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, told the House of Commons that she would “be publishing a consultation paper shortly”.

Commenting Jo Bucci, the Chair of The Lotteries Council, said: “Three years on from the Committee report we urge the Government to finally bring forward plans to raise these fundraising limits. 

“Whilst we appreciate that the Government needs to give due consideration to any changes to the law it’s progress on this issue has been slow. It is especially unfortunate given that every month that passes these fundraising restrictions are impacting on the money that goes to good causes.”

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, added: “The changes on society lotteries that we proposed to Government and Parliament three years ago would have a direct impact on helping charities raise more money to deliver more for their beneficiaries and causes.

“The current limits are starting to bite and impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of society lotteries and we urge the Government to move forward with the consultation as soon as possible.”

David Griffiths, Vice Chairman of the Hospice Lotteries Association, said: “Charity lotteries raise vital funds which make a huge difference to the lives of millions of people. However an increasing number of charities – including hospices – are affected by the continuing delay on resolving this problem. We hope Ministers take action as soon as possible.”

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.