The UK gambling regulatory body has forced a number of people, who had tried to dispose of their properties by offering them as prizes in so-called house raffles, to end these competitions or to make certain changes in the raffles’ terms and conditions over the last few months.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which is the major regulator of the local gambling industry, has previously warned that schemes commonly known as house raffles have become increasingly popular among UK citizens lately. The gambling regulatory authority also confirmed that it had gotten in touch with 11 people in the period from October 1st to the end of December 2017 in order to warn them that the activities they were running were recognized as schemes.
The UKGC has been closely monitoring so-called house raffles for almost a decade. They started gaining popularity back in 2008 as a way for home owners to dispose of their properties by offering them in special lottery draws as prizes. Since then, the Commission has categorised such raffles as illegal lotteries and has closed over 100 of them.
Currently, UK gambling legislation says that betting on raffles, or lotteries as they are also known, provide players with the opportunity to pay in order to enter a draw which result is based on luck. In addition, for the time being, lotteries in the UK could only be run to fund good causes only, such as helping the work of charity organizations, ambulance services, hospices or medical centres, as well as various non-profit organization and causes. As they are categorized as a form of gambling, raffles are under the monitoring and control by the country’s gambling regulatory body and are subjected to certain rules.
Back in August 2017, the UK Gambling Commission warned house raffles organizers that they need to comply with the country’s gambling legislation. Now, the Executive Director of the gambling regulatory body Sarah Gardner explained that the Commission wants them to properly understand the rules about lotteries so they do not get in trouble. Ms. Gardner also said that organizers of such lotteries need to be aware of the differences between lotteries, free draws and prize competitions.
Free Draws and Prize Competitions
Local residents are given the chance to legally dispose of their properties by running prize competitions or free draws, which are not categorized as gambling activities.
When it comes to free draws, they must have a free entry route, which basically means that participants are not required to pay for an entry. Paid routes are also possible, with them usually including premium rate phone, SMS or website that are set especially for the payments. Free entry routes normally feature standard rate telephone and post.
Prize competitions, on the other hand, are required to depend on the participant’s knowledge, skills or judgement, which makes it different from lottery, where the draw’s result is fully dependent on luck.