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Fourth National Lottery Licence: Regulatory Handbook

The Commission’s regulatory handbook sets out our regulatory approach to the National Lottery.

20. Section 6 Licences

20.1 This section provides information and context related to Section 6 Licences, with reference to the Section 6 Licence templates for individual and class Licences, which are to be used during the Fourth Licence Term.

20.2 Note that this section only covers matters related to the Section 6 Licences themselves. Guidance on the Section 6 licensing process is provided in a separate document.

20.3 This section covers:

  • the overall approach and principles of Section 6 Licences
  • the concept of Risk of Harm
  • Game Specific Requirements
  • the duration of Section 6 Licences
  • guidance on subject matters, images and themes.

Overall approach and principles of Section 6 Licences

20.4 Consistent with its approach to the Section 5 Licence, the Commission’s objective in issuing Section 6 Licences is to give effect to its statutory duties in a manner which provides simplicity and transparency and for appropriate innovation. In that context, the Commission’s approach to Section 6 Licences will be outcomes-based and will seek to avoid unnecessary complexity or constraint on the form of Games in the Licensee’s portfolio.

20.5 The Commission therefore has established Section 6 Licence templates which are suitable to be issued for any individual Game or defined class of Games. The two templates follow a common form and structure, with the intention that Conditions 1-16 in the Section 6 Licence templates will apply to all Section 6 Licences issued during the Fourth Licence Term. The conditions set out in the Section 6 Licence templates reflect similar outcomes to those described in the Section 5 Licence. In the context of a Section 6 Licence, those outcomes will apply to the game(s) authorised by, and specified in, the relevant Section 6 Licence.

20.6 The Section 6 Licence templates also provide for schedules which will contain suitable specific details for each Section 6 Licence:

  • the Game Specification (Schedule 3) will effectively define the game(s) that may be promoted under each Section 6 Licence. Any game promoted under a Section 6 Licence must align to the Game Specification, including any game features, parameters etc. set out therein. In the Section 6 Licence templates, Schedule 3 is populated with indicative headings. However, the exact content and structure of Schedule 3 may depend on the nature of the specific game(s) and the detail of each Section 6 Licence application
  • the Game Specific Requirements (Schedule 4) will allow for the introduction of ad hoc requirements, in addition to those specified in the rest of the Section 6 Licence. In the Section 6 Licence templates, Schedule 4 is populated with indicative headings. The need for any additional Game Specific Requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the specific game(s) and the detail of each Section 6 Licence application.

20.7 Each Section 6 Licence issued using these Section 6 Licence templates will reflect the fact that the person holding it also holds the Section 5 Licence (see Condition 3 of the Section 6 Licence templates). Therefore, whilst the Section 6 Licence will include specific provisions which are relevant to the licensing of an individual game or class of games, it will also recognise that, with respect to each specified outcome, that person will only fulfil the requirements of the Section 6 Licence if it also fulfils the relevant requirements of the Section 5 Licence. A failure to fulfil the relevant outcomes with respect to the operation of the National Lottery in accordance with the Section 5 Licence will therefore inherently constitute a failure to achieve those outcomes with respect to each Game which the operator of the National Lottery promotes.

Risk of Harm

20.8 Section 6 Licences define the concept of Risk of Harm as “at any time, any risk that [a/the] Game or its promotion might damage any Matter to be Protected to the extent that such risks or such damage were not readily apparent from, and clearly demonstrated in, the Application Information (taking account of any risk mitigation actions described in the Application Information)”.

20.9 Condition 9 of each Section 6 Licence will require the Licensee, throughout the term of the Section 6 Licence, to:

  • continually monitor any Risk of Harm (to any Matter to be Protected)
  • notify the Commission of any Risk of Harm it may identify which was not identified or accurately described in the original Section 6 Licence application and addressed by the mitigating steps described in that application
  • stop promoting the Game; or identify and implement Remedial Action to ensure that the relevant Risk of Harm does not continue and will not reoccur.

20.10 For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent that a risk to the Matters to be Protected identified in the Section 6 application actually materialises and the relevant mitigating actions set out in the application are taken, such risk will not generally result in any enforcement action in relation to Condition 9 of the Section 6 Licence. By contrast, if a risk which is not identified as part of the application process subsequently materialises, it may result in enforcement action (e.g. if this is due to the Licensee failing to comply with Condition 9.1 of the Section 6 Licence).

20.11 Per Condition 9.8 of each Section 6 Licence, the Licensee is required to comply with any Game Specific Requirements which relate to any Risk of Harm.

Game Specific Requirements

20.12 As explained in a separate guidance document on the Section 6 licensing process, a Section 6 Licence may impose certain additional requirements specifically with respect to the promotion of the Game(s) to ensure that the operation of the Game(s) does not damage the Matters to be Protected and, more broadly, complies with all relevant requirements under the Section 5 and Section 6 Licences, legislation and Secretary of State Directions. Most conditions in the Section 6 Licences will refer to these Game Specific Requirements, which are to be populated in Schedule 4 of each Section 6 Licence.

Duration of Section 6 Licences

20.13 The Commission expects that in most cases, the term of a Section 6 Licence will align to the remaining term of the Section 5 Licence. Save in specified circumstances where a Section 6 Licence may be suspended or terminated early (for example, the Section 6 Licence expires earlier than the End Date of the Section 5 Licence, or the Licensee or the Commission considers that the continued operation of the relevant Game would damage a Matter to be Protected), Section 6 Licences will reflect this expectation.

20.14 A Section 6 Licence for an individual Game authorises the promotion of that Game but does not require that the Game is promoted at all times. However, the Commission does not consider that it would be appropriate for the Licensee to hold “dormant” Section 6 Licences (i.e., Section 6 Licences in respect of which no Game is promoted for an extended period of time). As per Condition 2.9 of the Section 6 Licence template for an individual Licence, a Section 6 Licence will automatically terminate if the Licensee does not promote the Game authorised by the Licensee for a period of 12 consecutive months, unless the Commission notifies the Licensee otherwise. Condition 2.10 applies a similar obligation in the Section 6 template for class licences.

20.15 The obligations on, and rights of, the Commission to revoke a Section 6 Licence are described in Section 10 of the Act. In addition, each Section 6 Licence will include specified circumstances in which promotion of a Game (or class of Games) will be suspended or will cease, being:

  • a right for the Licensee to do so at any time provided it provides the Commission with at least 10 Business Days’ notice and ensures that doing so does not damage any Matter to be Protected
  • an obligation on the Licensee to do so promptly if it considers that promoting the Game will damage any Matter to be Protected.

Subject matters, images and themes

20.16 Condition 11.3 of Section 6 Licences requires the Licensee to have regard to any subject matters, images or themes specified in the Regulatory Handbook, which we consider may damage the reputation of the National Lottery and/or the value, integrity and strength of the National Lottery Brand, if such subject matters, images or themes are used as part of the promotion of the Game or in association with the National Lottery Brand.

20.17 In general terms, we expect that subject matters, images and themes will be consistent with the requirement under Condition 9 of Section 6 Licences, which requires the Licensee to do everything it can to ensure that Games do not damage any Matter to be Protected. As part of this, we expect the Licensee to consider whether subject matters, images and themes are consistent with:

  • the core values of the National Lottery Brand (see section 14)
  • the Licensee’s obligations in relation to protecting Participant interests (see section 11).

20.18 We expect the Licensee to take account of whether subject matter, imagery or themes may reasonably be expected to lead to specific adverse outcomes that would be inconsistent with its obligations, such as:

  • encouraging excessive play
  • causing offence to Participants or be considered inappropriate by Participants
  • harming the National Lottery Brand and reputation, including with regard to the National Lottery Brand’s distinctiveness – for example, in terms of being easily distinguishable from other forms of gambling – and its core values, such as in relation to safety and trustworthiness
  • suggesting that a chance-based process may involve an element of Participant skill or control
  • misrepresenting the chance of winning a prize in the relevant Game(s)
  • exploiting an individual’s financial anxieties
  • appealing particularly to underage Participants
  • otherwise damaging any Matter to be Protected.

20.19 We would anticipate that material damage to the Matters to be Protected is likely in relation to any subject matter, imagery or themes that:

  • are overtly based on, or linked to other non-lottery forms of gambling (e.g., betting or gaming machines, casino games), particularly those forms of gambling that may have a relatively high incidence of gambling harms
  • are overtly based on, linked to, or contain language associated with financial markets or financial products
  • are associated with alcohol, tobacco or other drug use; sexuality; politics; criminal activity; violence; stereotypes; or any specific religion, culture or ethnicity.

20.20 For the avoidance of doubt, the above examples are not intended as an exhaustive or definitive list.

20.21 The suitability of specific subject matter, imagery or themes may change over the Term of the Fourth Licence in line with changes in public opinion, Best Practice or other trends. This is reflected in Condition 10.2 of Section 6 Licences, which reflects our expectation that the Licensee proactively monitors its compliance with Section 6 Licence conditions, as well as any Risk of Harm that may arise, for example where relevant risks associated with subject matter, imagery or themes were not identified in the Licensee’s Section 6 Application Information, or where new risks arise subsequently to the granting of a Section 6 Licence.

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19. Schedule 5: Good Causes Contribution
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21. Extension Review
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