UK regulator wants more transparency for charity lotteries

UK Gambling CommissionEver bought a ticket to a charity affiliated lottery and wondered exactly where the funds are going? The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is launching a consultation that will make it easier for consumers to know what the money raised from society and charity lotteries is going towards.

Responses to the consultation, which is titled ‘Changes to Society Lottery and External Lottery Manager Operating License Requirements’ are being welcomed until September 30.

The information gathered will help the Commission to introduce new codes of practice for society and charity lottery operators to improve transparency for lottery players. It aims to make it clear to consumers before they buy a lottery ticket exactly which society or charity the lottery proceeds are going to, encouraging greater accountability to consumers.

As part of the new proposal, all licensed lottery operators will be required to publish information regarding how much money from the lottery proceeds was used for charitable purposes. Under the UK Gaming Act 2005, a minimum of 20 per cent of all lottery proceeds must be returned to “good causes” and whilst many charitable societies often return more than this, there are a number of lotteries which only return the bare minimum.

Sarah Garner, executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, said, “Society lotteries are a crucial source of income for many good causes across the country, whether a hospice, air-ambulance services, community groups or other charitable causes. We want to improve consumer confidence in the lotteries sector to protect those much needed funds that benefit so many societies across the country.

“Transparency plays a vital role in this, as ultimately consumers need to be confident that the money they are contributing via ticket sales is going to the people and organisations that needed it the most.”

The consultation also aims to clarify the difference between instant win and low frequency lotteries, reflect the recent changes to the Commission’s Remote Technical Standards and reinforce the changes that were made to the regulatory data collection requirements. 

Responders are invited to provide feedback to such questions as “Do you agree provisions should be added to provide greater transparency on the use of lottery proceeds by societies and local authorities?”

Want to have your You can find a list of all the questions and information about how to respond here.