New legislation, which comes into force on 6 April 2016, makes it easier for charities and other not for profit organisations to run fundraising raffles / lotteries.

Unless lotteries (commonly called raffles) are exempt, organisers must have a Gambling Commission licence or be registered with a local authority. The Legislative Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016 (LRO) extends the existing exemption for “incidental” lotteries and makes it possible for exempt “private” lotteries to raise funds for good causes.

Incidental lotteries

Incidental lotteries (raffles for good causes held at events) can now be held at commercial as well as non-commercial events. This enables charities or their supporters to raise funds through raffles at events such as concerts or sports competitions even when the other proceeds of the event will not go to charity. Additionally, the results of the lottery no longer need to be announced while the event is taking place.

Private lotteries

The changes allow private society lotteries and lotteries at a work place or at residential premises to be promoted for any purpose other than that of private gain. This means that, for the first time, private lotteries can be used to fundraise for any charity or not for profit organisation. The LRO also removes the requirement to include specific information on private lottery tickets, so organisers no longer need to use customised tickets.

Remaining within the rules

To remain within the exemptions organisers must still fulfil all the other requirements under the Gambling Act 2005 or they will be promoting an unlawful lottery, which is an offence.

Updated Gambling Commission guidance on exempt lotteries can be found here.

Lottery promotions should also comply with the good practice rules of the Committee of Advertising Practice Code (CAP Code).

If you would like to discuss your charity’s plans to take advantage of these changes further, then please contact Sarah Payne.

Posted on 06/04/2016 in Legal Updates

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