Charity Lotteries: Annual Sales Limits

Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kim Leadbeater Kim Leadbeater Opposition Whip (Commons)

For what reason charity lotteries have annual sale limits.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

The limits for society lotteries allow them to raise funding for charities but to remain distinct from other forms of gambling and from the national lottery. The limits were last increased recently, in 2020, but I am aware that some operators want to see the limits raised or removed entirely. It is important that any decisions that are made are based on strong evidence. As such, I have commissioned research in this area, which I hope we will review by the end of the year.

Photo of Kim Leadbeater Kim Leadbeater Opposition Whip (Commons)

The People’s Postcode Lottery funds some brilliant organisations across Batley and Spen, including the fantastic Rainbow Baby Bank in Heckmondwike and the Game Changerz youth provision in Birstall. However, the current sales limits prevent the People’s Postcode Lottery from giving away even more grants to worthy community organisations across the country, in all our constituencies. Will the Minister therefore explain why casinos and bookies, for example, do not face a sales limit but charity lotteries, which are low risk and fund so many valuable local charities, face that barrier?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

As I said at the reception that the People’s Postcode Lottery held the other night, it was my privilege to set up a society lottery when I worked in a hospice. I recognise the value of such lotteries to charities, and I am aware of the issues that the PPL has raised. I have worked with the Gambling Commission to suggest ways that it can grow under the current network, as it is the largest brand in the sector, but as I say, I want to see more research. We need to understand what the potential harms are, and what the potential effects are on the national lottery. There is not enough data at the moment. That is why I am commissioning independent research, so that we can make decisions based on evidence.

Photo of Jamie Stone Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Armed Forces), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Clearly, in my vast and far-flung constituency, it is difficult for charities to raise money, as Members can imagine. To date, some £432,000 in community grants has been awarded to those charities. That is very welcome indeed. The Minister mentioned that consideration will be given to raising limits, or perhaps abolishing them altogether. May I make an impassioned plea that the particular circumstances of remote parts of the UK are considered when the decisions are made?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

I recognise the vast contribution that these lotteries make to charities, particularly those that work in rural areas. Of course, we will make sure that we take evidence on all those issues. I am sure the hon. Gentleman would agree that we want to make sure that we are developing policy based on evidence, but that does not detract from our recognition of the enormous work that these lotteries do, and we are incredibly grateful to them.