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Charities that organise ‘large society lotteries’ should also be able to organise ‘small society lotteries’

Comment 27th August 2010

Under the Gambling Act 2005, if a charity obtains a licence to organise large society lotteries all the non-exempt lotteries they organise in the following three years (however small) are considered to be large society lotteries. 

This provision should be changed so that no lottery below a certain threshold is considered to be a large society lottery, even if the charity organising it also organises large society lotteries.

Why does this matter?

This means all lotteries will require a Gambling Commission licence (this would be particularly frustrating for a charity that organised one big lottery then decided to hold only small lotteries thereafter – they would have to keep their Gambling Commission licence and keep paying the fees which would not be a good use of money if they only want to carry out small lotteries in the future, perhaps because the large lottery they organised was not as sensible as they had hoped)

The requirements governing large society lotteries are (for obvious reasons) more onerous than those governing small society lotteries.  Where a small lottery is deemed to be a large society lottery because the charity has held a large society lottery in the preceding three years, these lotteries are subject to the more onerous requirements that are more appropriate to large scale lotteries.  This causes problems where a national charity has regional groups or branches that are not legally distinct organisations.  As the law currently stands such organisations can't organise small society lotteries.

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