The Commission has had a significant number of enquiries recently regarding Small Society Lotteries. Understandably a number of them are now looking to raise funds online rather than face to face. The main question we have received is as to whether they still need to register with the LA if it is being conducted online. Although other questions also arise. The advice we offer is as follows:
To run any lottery online/via social media or any other remote means (including telephone) must have a LA registration or a licence from the Commission. This includes any ‘incidental’ lotteries run at virtual events.
Read the advice on running a lottery.
An abridged version of the relevant Conditions and Codes is as follows:
Social responsibility code provision 4.2.3
Display of rules
Societies should make a player’s guide to each gambling opportunity available to customers. Ordinary Code 4.2.4 states that this should ideally be in the same channel as the gamble/lottery is offered, and if not then by post, fax or email.
Social responsibility code provision 4.3.1
Publication of percentage of lottery proceeds returned to the purposes of the society or local authority
Each year, the society should publish details on the percentage of the total proceeds of lotteries promoted in the previous calendar year, that are applied to purposes for which the society is conducted. This should be through either their annual report, lottery page of their society website or any other means appropriate to the size and scale of the organisation.
Social responsibility code provision 4.3.2
Marketing of all lotteries conducted under a single brand (branded lotteries)
Where a number of society lotteries are promoted under one brand (also known as a branded lottery), whether with an ELM or not, they should ensure that it is clear to consumers which society lotteries are being promoted. This applies to any marketing communications, advertisements, promotions or any information surrounding the draw, winners and beneficiaries; and through any ticket documentation.
Social responsibility code provision 4.3.3
Lotteries – Information to consumers
Societies should ensure that clear, transparent, and easily accessible information is made available to consumers to enable them to make an informed choice before entering a lottery. This must include at the least details of how proceeds are used, the likelihood of winning a prize and how prizes are allocated. The Commission has guidance on information to players that societies should take account of.