The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has kicked off a new consultation into reform of the rules on social lotteries. The Commission is looking for views on how to strengthen the licence regulations and the existing codes of practice, while also developing guidance on consumer information.
The consultation follows the announcement of plans by the UK government to change both the prize and sales limits for society lotteries. Those potential changes were announced in July 2019, following a consultation period. The changes will involve the amending of the Gambling Act of 2005, which will increase the limit on per-draw sales to £5 million from the current figure of £4 million, and a consequent rise in the maximum prize to £500,000. The government changes also include a rise in the annual proceeds limit to £50 million from £10 million.
But section 99 of the same Act also requires the UKGC to add specific conditions to all society lottery licences to reflect rule changes, and the Commission is aiming to gather opinions ahead of finalising the rule amendments.
They will also be examining the current regulatory framework to make sure that they are in line with the requirement to adhere to the objectives of open and fair licensing and customer transparency.
Among the possibilities are a strengthening of some aspects of the existing rules and the production of guidance that will be available for customers.
Small society lotteries were included in the Government’s consultation on the basis that if there were changes to the threshold for what is considered a large lottery, this would bring more of those lotteries within the scope of the small society lotteries rules. These lotteries are regulated under a different regime, which is operated by local authorities. But concerns about the potential addition burden on local authorities meant that there will be no changes to small society lottery rules.