Former Civil Society Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, has launched a new report by People’s Postcode Lottery, and backed their call to new Prime Minister Liz Truss to cut the red tape holding back fundraising by charity lotteries. The report highlights that charities are losing out on millions of pounds due to legal limits on lottery fundraising.
Speaking during a visit to the Maggie’s centre at St. Barts Hospital in London, which has benefitted from charity lottery funding, Ms Crouch, who has experienced her own cancer journey, spoke about how Maggie’s illustrated the great difference charity lottery funding can make, and why the Government should ensure that red tape doesn’t get in the way of maximising support to charities.
The new report, “Limitless Potential: The Case for Lifting the Cap on Charity Lottery Fundraising”, highlights the problems caused by the legal limit of £50 million sales per year by any one charity lottery – including excess bureaucracy and stagnation of funds for some charities. It calls for the Government to either remove the cap altogether or raise it to £100 million per year – a move they committed to in 2020.
Commenting, Ms Crouch said: "As a former cancer patient, myself I know the hugely positive impact of charities like Maggie’s to cancer patients and their families. And as a former Civil Society Minister I know the difference charity lottery funding makes to Maggie’s, but also to thousands of other charities right across the country.
"In recent years the Government has closely scrutinised the area of charity lottery reform – and found that charity lotteries make a hugely positive difference. They also committed in 2020 to raise the charity lottery annual sales limit to £100 million per annum. This new report illustrates the red tape which results from the existing limit and explains why it’s so crucial to either remove these limits entirely, or at the very least raise them to £100 million.
"With the rising cost of living leading to increased demand for charities services, as well as an increase in their own costs we should be taking this step to help funding streams like charity lotteries, so they can continue to help those who are most in need. I urge new Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Government to act on this as soon as possible."
Dame Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s added: "Charity Lottery funding has helped transform what Maggie’s has been able to achieve over the last 14 years – helping us extend our network of cancer support centres and reach many more people with cancer as well as their families. We experience the positive impact of that funding every day, yet we know that charity lottery law limits the amount of funds that good causes can receive. Charities need these funds now more than ever to continue supporting those in need – it is time for the Government to act."
Clara Govier, managing director of People’s Postcode Lottery, commented: "Charity Lotteries are the only type of charity fundraising, and the only type of gambling, capped by law. The reason for the cap seems to be lost in the mists of time, but while it remains in place, it limits the amount of available funding for charities we support.
"The new Prime Minister and her Government can make an immediate difference, at no cost to the Treasury, by removing the cap, and we call therefore call for this change to be brought in as soon as possible."
The problem at a glance
In 2022, three key Postcode Trusts, funded by People’s Postcode Lottery players, will each lose out on some £1 million of potential income.
This is due to the lowering ticket prices – from 85p to 80p – needed to avoid breaching the current £50 million annual sales limit. Further ticket price reductions will be needed in future as player numbers grow. As a result, these Trusts’ incomes will stagnate, as will the value of the grants they award, despite growing ticket sales and ongoing charitable need. This means a real-terms decrease in funding over time.
Charities are losing out already – and will continue to in future years. Already 31 charities are being impacted by this problem. Over time, more Postcode Trusts will be affected, impacting more charities.