ACEVO CHALLENGES 'HEALTH LOTTERY'
ACEVO has been campaigning against Richard Desmond’s new ‘Health Lottery’, which could result in less money going to good causes. It competes with the National Lottery and small society lotteries such as those run by hospices, but gives significantly less to good causes (20p in the £1 compared to 28p for the National Lottery and an average 50-60p for hospice lotteries).
ACEVO chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb wrote to the Secretary of State for culture and sport, Jeremy Hunt, on 30 September to express concern at the developments. You can read the letter here. Mr Hunt has since told MPs that he was “worried about the Health Lottery because protecting the income of good causes is a very, very important responsibility that this Government has. The National Lottery was set up in way that would generate money for those good causes and society lotteries are allowed on the basis that they are local lotteries. We are doing some work at the moment to look at what the impact of the Health Lottery might be on good cause revenues.” He went on to say that if the Gambling Commission “conclude that what's happening is not legal, I would expect them to take robust action.”
ACEVO has also requested under the Freedom of Information Act that the Gambling Commission publish all the information the Health Lottery supplied to it before it reached the decision to license the Health Lottery, arguing it is unclear on what basis the Gambling Commission reached the view that the new lottery complied with regulations. That Freedom of Information request has been turned down; ACEVO is now challenging the decision.
Now ACEVO has also written to retailers supporting the Health Lottery to withdraw their support – you can read a sample letter here.