Government urged to show ‘more ambition’ over lottery thresholds

2 July 2018

People’s Postcode Lottery managing director Clara Govier has welcomed the news that the UK government is set to increase the annual turnover limit for so-called “society lotteries” from £10 (€11.3m/$13.1m) to £100m but has called for “more ambition” with draw thresholds.

Under the proposals, the government has recommended a modest increase of £100,000 to £500,000 for a maximum draw prize and an increase of £1m to £5m that can be raised by each lottery per draw.

Society lotteries are run by charities and other non-commercial organisations such as sports clubs to allow them to raise money for the good causes they support. Sales limits for large society lotteries were last increased in 2009.

In a statement released to iGamingBusiness.com, People’s Postcode Lottery managing director Clara Govier highlighted the importance of “future-proofing” the new draw limit given the length of time it has taken since the last review.

She said: “We urge ministers to be more ambitious in regards to the draw limit and we will make that point in the consultation period.

“The draw limit also impacts on society lotteries and it seems odd that whilst it was doubled from £2m to £4m in the four years from 2005 to 2009, it is only proposed to increase by £1m over the nine-year period between 2005 and 2018. That is despite society lottery proceeds having more than tripled in that period.

“Unless the draw limit is future proofed by being raised further than ministers propose, People’s Postcode Lottery expect that additional administration costs will occur over the coming years – stopping charities getting vital funding.”

Tracey Crouch (pictured), Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said that society lotteries “make a vital difference to communities up and down the country”.

She added: “They are an important fundraising tool for charities and we want to ensure that both society lotteries and the National Lottery are able to thrive now and in the future.”

In the 2016-17 tax year, society lotteries raised over £255m for good causes. People’s Postcode Lottery has raised more than £310m for UK charities since 2005, while The Health Lottery has raised over £58m since its launch in 2011.