Plans for Harrogate district to have its own Lottery to support local causes

18 October 2017

Plans to introduce an online community lottery to benefit good causes in the Harrogate district are to be considered by Harrogate Borough Council at a Cabinet meeting this week.

The proposed Harrogate District Lottery would see at least 60% of proceeds going to local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations in the district. This compares favourably with other established lotteries such as the National Lottery (which gives 28% to VCS organisations), the Health Lottery (which gives 20%) and the Postcode Lottery (which gives 27.5%).

Unlike other lotteries, the proposed Harrogate District Lottery would give players the opportunity to choose which local causes they would like to support from a list of VCS organisations who have signed up to take part in the lottery.

The recommended model would operate two different ticket types. The first would see 60% of proceeds being distributed via the council’s Harrogate District Community Fund Small Grants Scheme. The second ticket type would see 50% of proceeds going directly to the player’s chosen good cause and 10% going to the Harrogate District Community Fund.

Tickets would cost £1 and a draw would be held each week with the winner getting 20% of the profits from the total ticket sales for that week. Under the proposed timeline the lottery could be launched by late spring with the first draw taking place in July 2018.

As a local authority, the council would need to be licenced by the Gambling Commission. None of the proceeds would be taken by the council and the lottery would be online only, due to the high costs of distribution and sales in any other way.

Should Members approve the proposal at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 18 October, full council will be asked for endorsement on Wednesday 13 December.

Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development said:

Voluntary and community sector organisations play an important role in our community. Through the council’s small grants scheme we have been able to provide funding for a wide range of organisations so that they can turn their ideas into reality, and we are currently developing a Harrogate District Community Fund which will provide additional support in the future.

Community lotteries have been introduced by council’s up and down the country and they have proven to be extremely successful, as they provide a source of increased funding and they strengthen the security of the funding for the long term.

With budgets under increasing pressure from government cuts, it is important that we look at how we can continue to support good causes. The introduction of a district lottery is one such way which would also enable members of our community to have a stronger say on which organisations they would like to support.

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