ACEVO has taken a strong and principled stand against the Health Lottery. That is because we believe it could compete against the National Lottery and so take money from charity overall. The Desmond Health Lottery only gives 20 p in the pound to good causes. The National Lottery gives 28 p.
So I was delighted today to read that a cross-party committee of MPs has called on the government to clarify the law around society lottery structures after it judged the Health Lottery to be “neither in the spirit nor the intention of Parliament”.
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee released a report " The Gambling Act 2005: A bet worth taking?, " and said that while it would not comment on the legality of the Health Lottery, given the current application for judicial review brought by Camelot against the Gambling Commission, it believes the lottery to “accord with neither the spirit nor the intention of Parliament as set out in the National Lottery Act 2006 and the Gambling Act 2005”.
The committee recommends that the government clarify the distinction between a national lottery and a collection of connected local lotteries.
“If the Government decides to allow more than one national lottery then it should ensure fair competition by requiring any new national lottery provider to pay lottery duty and meet the same legal requirements as the existing National Lottery operator,” the report said.
We will see what the Judicial review says soon. But then I expect DCMS to act. They have been wholly inadequate in their response so far , failing to uphold the intention of Parliament that there would only be one national lottery. Out charity sector cannot afford to lose money at a time of severe restraint and rising demand. But there is still time for Mr Desmond to do the right thing and raise the amount he gives to good causes to 28 p.
And on the home front I'm told by my team that our twitter feed now reaches 6000 people. Are you on it? It's lively and informative and often amusing. A must for allsector leaders surely! See it here