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DCMS Decision to Keep Lottery Sales Limit Sparked Criticism

Lottery organizations in the UK expressed their concern and disappointment following the release of the ongoing review of charity lottery policy by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week.

People’s Postcode Lottery Position

The review that is ongoing since August 2021 concluded that a previous increase of the charity lottery annual sales limit from £10 million ($13.4 million) to £50 million ($67 million) has had “the intended effect of allowing the society lotteries sector to grow and return more to good causes” and also kept the National Lottery’s “unique position.”

Organizations such as People’s Postcode Lottery and the lottery representative body the Lotteries Council expressed their disappointment at the missed opportunity to raise the annual sales limit to £100 million ($134 million) and provide more help to local and national charities across the country.

“This statement from DCMS is a missed opportunity for the Government to support the charity and charity lottery sectors at a time when charities have been impacted by two years of the Covid pandemic, which has affected charity fundraising at the same time as increasing charitable need.”

Clara Govier, Managing Director, People’s Postcode Lottery

Govier concluded by urging the Government to “urgently review this position and for Ministers to engage with the sector.”

Lotteries Council’s Disappointment

Equally disappointed, the Lotteries Council labeled the findings of the review “timid” and also raised concerns about the lack of clarity on how any future continued growth in the sector could be achieved.

The Lotteries Council also addressed issues that had been left unengaged during the consultation, including the lotteries’ ability to offer the maximum allowable prize of £500,000 ($670,000) within the framework of current draw limits, which could hinder the lotteries’ prospects of boosting ticket sales and return more to good causes.

Commenting on the review, Lotteries Council Chair Tony Vick outlined the DCMS’s acknowledgment that the growth in society lottery had “no discernible impact on the National Lottery,” questioning the refusal to “make a firmer decision on the full success of the 2020 society lottery reforms” in the light of the vital role played by charitable fundraising during the pandemic.

“The Lotteries Council is disappointed that DCMS has reached its conclusion despite the responsible Minister unfortunately being unable to make time to meet with the sector, while partly basing their decision upon unpublished Gambling Commission data.”

Tony Vick, Chair, Lotteries Council

Vicks ended by calling on the authorities to come up with a clear plan on how they will fulfill their commitments related to the society lottery sector to ensure that the sector continues to thrive and contribute to good causes.

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