During last week’s Lotteries Council Annual Conference at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire, Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, outlined the regulator’s consumer-focused priorities for society lotteries across the country.
In the UK, society lotteries are lotteries that are run solely for good causes, and not for private or commercial gain. Local authorities can promote a lottery to raise funds to spend on anything where they have power to incur expenditure.
“Our regulatory approach puts consumers right at the heart of everything that we do,” Harrison said. “While this has been a focus for the commission since it was created, consistent with the statutory duties and licensing objectives, it is one we are building on for the future.
“We want to see a market in society lotteries, commercial gaming and the National Lottery where consumers easily understand the product and are clear on the terms; are confident in knowing their rights and having access to information to help inform decisions; appreciate the risks as well as the possible rewards; have access to tools to help keep play safe and reduce risk of harm; and know where to go, for example with complaints, if things go wrong.”
Harrison added: “Consumers who are confident and empowered will help contribute to the long-term health of the market sector.”
Outlining some key trends in society lotteries, Harrison said the sector generated sales of nearly £500 million last year.
“The commission licenses nearly 500 society lotteries, 38 external lottery managers (ELMs) and 10 local authorities,” she stated. “The sector has seen significant growth, with our latest industry statistics showing that, in the year ending March 2016, the sector sold lottery tickets valuing over £480 million.
“This is a 10% increase on 2015 and well over 100% increase on the last five years. We also know that on average, 43% of the money collected via those ticket sales contributes directly to the core aims of the relevant societies.”
Totally Gaming says: During her speech to delegates at the Lotteries Council Conference, Harrison said lotteries are a “vital and growing part of the fundraising sector”. While she noted that lotteries returned more than £200 million to charities and other good causes last year, Harrison said a continued focus on social responsibility was “crucial” to the long-term development of the sector.