The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched a society lottery consultation exercise. This is in order to collect a number of opinions from customers on an important issue. The regulator is planning to make changes to its lottery.
The changes will help customers find out exactly where the funds raised by society lotteries is utilised. The consultation is termed ‘Have your say on changes to society lottery codes of practice: putting consumers first’.
Society lotteries, which are very widely held all over Britain, are organised for the sole purpose of supporting good causes. In other words, these lotteries are not intended for any commercial gain. Many local authorities promote lotteries in order to generate revenues to meet their expenses. The funds thus raised can be spent on a wide range of causes. As a matter of fact, society lotteries are a very important source of revenue for charitable causes all over the United Kingdom.
Lotteries in the UK
Lotteries in the UK collected a sum of £404.9 million in total from the month of July to September 2016 in order to support many good causes. This was an impressive 9.9% increase over the period April to June 2016.
The UKGC is seeking to generate a set of rule to govern operators of local lotteries. It doesn’t matter whether they are the local authority or even societies. The new rules will also apply to external lottery managers (ELMs). The purpose of these soon to be created rules is to increase the level of transparency for organisers of society lotteries.
Proposals of the UKGC
One of the proposals of the UKGC is that operators should clarify exactly which charitable organization or society will benefit from the proceeds of the lottery ticket sales. Organisers will also be obliged to publish the total amount of money they have raised. They also need to clearly state how much of it will go to the charity or society the money is actually intended for.
This will enable customers to know exactly how their money will be spent. There are doubts at present about the money utilised by lottery firms to pay administration and other organisational costs. In fact, many people are suspecting that the lottery firms use a large proportion of the money collected for their own activities.
The UKGC’s Lottery Consultation
The UKGC’s lottery consultation will also over low frequency, and instant win lotteries. For this, it has to address changes brought to the industry in order for lotteries to be held online. There will also be a number of updates brought about by data collection requirements from a regulatory point of view.
Gambling Commission Executive Director is Sarah Gardner. She pointed that it was important for lottery ticket buyers to be confident that the money they were spending was actually going to the causes that the lotteries ostensibly championed. She also said that the lottery sector was already aware of the suggested changes. But it was also important for the public to learn about them and give their suggestions.
The UKGC CEO is Sarah Harrison. She has previously talked to the lottery industry about the high standards through which the lotteries need to be operated. The law states that at least 20% of the proceeds of a lottery have to reach their intended charitable cause.
But most people have no idea about how much money actually reaches the causes. She made these statements at the Lotteries Council annual conference. During that time she also said that the public placed a lot of trust in lotteries to deliver funds to charitable causes.
The UKGC has given members of the public time from the 20th until the 30th of September, 2017. During that time they can provide responses and suggestions on the issue which is of great importance to the industry, individuals, and also charitable causes.