UKGC sets sights on boosting returns to good causes from lotteries

UKGC sets sights on boosting returns to good causes from lotteries

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The regulator spoke at the Lotteries Council Conference

The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has expressed an intention to be "more enquiring" about lottery operators who return the minimum 20% of revenues from gross ticket sales for good causes.

Speaking at the Lotteries Council Conference, the UKGC's executive director Tim Miller acknowledged the high operational costs for some lotteries but noted that there are too many cases where the bulk of the proceeds are paid to third parties involved in organising the lottery.

Miller detailed the regulator’s new requirement, which came into force this month, whereby all licensees must publish the annual percentage return to the aims and objectives of the society.

He also explained that “optimising returns to good causes from lotteries” is one of the five key objectives included in the three-year strategy which the UKGC published in November 2017.

“Society lotteries exist to generate funds for good causes and that is an important motivation for those who play your lotteries,” said Miller. “You know as well as I do that it is vital that you maintain the trust and confidence of your supporters and that is why transparency is so important.

“The introduction of this new requirement will ensure that your supporters can see how much of the funds of the lottery are applied to the good causes your society supports.”

Continuing his speech, Miller pushed the importance of transparency to counter the spread of illegal lotteries, retain public confidence in the sector, and to prevent a negative perception of the lower returns to good causes, particularly from start-up lotteries.

“The new requirements also impact on brand lottery schemes,” he continued. “From now on the promoters of such schemes must ensure that sufficient information is provided to make it clear to consumers which society lottery they are being invited to participate in.

“The specific requirements are set out in our advice on ‘Promoting multiple society lotteries’; we have now made them formal licence requirements for all societies and ELMs. Again, this is about transparency for consumers. And we will expect all gambling operators, not just those in the lotteries sector, to be more open and transparent with their customers.”

Totally Gaming says: The Gambling Act requires that a minimum 20% of the revenue from gross ticket sales in each lottery is applied to the purpose of promoting the society. While the average is still over 40%, Miller took this opportunity to remind the sector of its relationship with good causes and its commitment to safer gambling, which he said needn’t be limited to contributions made to GambleAware or other forms of research, education and treatment.

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