Gambling Commission to introduce new transparency requirements for lotteries

United Kingdom

Following the recent conclusion of its consultation (the “Consultation”), the Gambling Commission announced on 12 December 2017 that it will introduce new requirements on lottery operators to increase transparency in relation to the proceeds of lotteries.

The new measures

The Consultation, first published on 20 July 2017, proposed two new social responsibility measures to increase transparency with respect to lottery proceeds.

Taking into account the 27 responses from charities and industry bodies received during the Consultation process, the Gambling Commission has now published the final wording of these provisions in Annex B of its Consultation Responses document.

From 4 April 2018, the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCPs”) will be amended to require that all operators who promote society and local authority lotteries, and those who act as external lottery managers:

  • make clear in the lottery’s marketing communications the societies or charities to which the proceeds are paid (this applies to umbrella lotteries only, i.e. where a number of society lotteries are promoted under one brand); and
  • publish the percentage of lottery ticket sales in the previous calendar year that was returned as profit to the good cause. This should be published in the annual report, lottery page of their society website or any other means appropriate to the size and scale of the organisation. 

Other considerations

In the Consultation Responses, the Gambling Commission also published its position in relation to several comments from industry players to increase the annual and single draw proceeds limits placed on society lotteries under section 99(3) of the Gambling Act 2005.  Whilst the Gambling Commission has noted these representations, the regulator stated that these limits fall outside the scope of the Consultation. 

The future

The changes are an acknowledgment by the various actors that contributing to good causes is increasingly a motivating factor for consumers to play lotteries.  The more information that consumers have in respect of such lotteries, the more informed the consumer’s choice.