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Advice and guidance updates

Premises annual fee refunds and partial payments

Following a number of queries in relation to premises licence annual fees, the Commission’s view is that no regulations providing for refunds have been made under section 184(4) of the Gambling Act, and so LAs do not have the discretion to refund annual fees for premises licences where the operator ceases to trade during the year.

Our view is that the power to authorise refunds is specifically reserved for the Secretary of State by virtue of section 184(4). Similarly, there is no scope within The Gambling (Premises Licence Fees) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 /The Gambling (Premises Licence Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 for pro-rata payment of annual fees where the premises intends to close within a few months of the fee being paid.

The Commission’s view is that a local authority doing either of these would be acting ultra vires; however, this is not legal advice and only the courts can make a final decision.

Update on Small Society Lottery consultation

Last month DCMS (opens in new tab) announced the outcome of their 2018 consultation on society lottery regulatory reform. The responses document sets out government’s commitment to:

  • an initial uplift of the annual aggregate limit on large society lottery proceeds from £10m to £50m
  • consult on a higher tier £100m proceeds aggregate limit, with tighter conditions
  • an uplift to the individual draw limit from £4m to £5m, which also provides an increase in the maximum individual prize that can be offered from £400,000 to £500,000 (dependent on sales as they’ve retained the 10% rule)
  • the Commission looking at LCCP requirements on transparency issues and
  • monitor the impact of the changes
  • consider how to increase transparency in relation to executive pay and will seek advice from the Commission on that.

LAs are advised that the proposals to increase the thresholds for small society lotteries has not been upheld, with the limits retained at £20,000 proceeds per lottery (with a maximum prize value of £25,000) and £250,000 aggregate proceeds per annum.

Changes for large society lottery proceeds are to be set before Parliament in the autumn.

Reminder about running a lottery including tombolas, sweepstakes and raffles

We recently reminded consumers about keeping the requirements for lawfully raising money for their nominated good cause:

  • Anyone running lottery that permits the sale of tickets before an event, or away from the place where the event is held, is going to need either a licence from the Commission or registration with their local authority
  • There are limits in place for how much you can spend on ticket sales for a single prize (but no limits on donated prizes)
  • All tickets must cost the same (unless they are run at a specific event – these are called incidental lotteries) and a ticket must be provided for each entry
  • If you are a business running a lottery for your customers, you cannot run them for profit or for good causes – all the money from ticket sales must be spent on prizes or expenses
  • You cannot roll over unallocated or unclaimed prizes to another lottery unless you are running your lotteries under a Gambling Commission licence or local authority registration.

Further information is available in our quick guide on running a lottery.

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