The Gambling Act 2005 placed increased emphasis on protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm or exploitation by gambling. However, how this is achieved is determined by local licensing authorities and has resulted in PTAs being told that they cannot distribute raffle tickets for sale by parents using the normal channel from school to home – children’s book bags.
Obviously, it is very difficult to see how a child taking home PTA raffle tickets for sale by their Mum and Dad, a carer, friend or other relative will be harmed and therefore why it is necessary to stop this long-standing practice. The result is that PTAs are finding it harder and harder to run raffles which play such a key part in their fundraising success.
The National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) has raised this issue with both the Gambling Commission and the Licensing Team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Both have agreed that there is nothing within the regulations which would prevent this practice from continuing. However, how this was going to be communicated to local licensing officers appears to have fallen between these areas of responsibility.
Clearly establishing that it is still possible for PTAs to distribute raffle tickets for sale by adults using children’s book bags prior to the end of the year would be advantageous given this is a key time for such activity focused around Christmas and other seasonal activities.
NCPTA is a registered charity and membership organisation supporting PTAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with 13,500 associations in membership. In 2009, NCPTA’s members raised in excess of £73 million for the benefit of education. For further information see www.ncpta.org.uk