|Million-2-1, the licensed lottery manager, which is planning a series of regional lottery launches, today appealed to legislators at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to help create a ‘slightly more level’ playing field for all lottery managers, and to start by raising the maximum single prize level to £1million - in a spirit of open competition.|
“As responsible lottery managers, we are restricted to offering lottery prizes of £25,000, even if there’s a rollover*. As a first step towards total abolition of this limit, we’d like to be free to offer prizes of up to £1 million after the forthcoming Gambling Bill.” So says Chris Sheffield, founder and CEO of Million-2-1.
Alan Austin, Chairman of The Lotteries Council, endorses Million-2-1’s appeal for lottery liberalisation: “For years, society lotteries have made large and positive contributions to the good causes they support. But while the Gambling Bill will do a great deal to provide an environment for the controlled growth of hard gambling in the UK, we believe it should be similarly enabling for societies’ lotteries – the smallest and most vulnerable sector in the industry. We advocate the removal of lottery ceilings.”
Mr Sheffield concurs: “The existing legislation unfairly penalises smaller, more responsive lottery managers who are trying to do the right thing by the British people at a local level. If existing proposed Gambling Bill reforms take place, we will be left with limits on value prize and even how large we can grow; restrictions which both the Gambling Review and the Gaming Board have already suggested should be removed.”
Million-2-1 undertakes a number of unique efforts towards to develop more lotteries:
- Committing 35% of proceeds to charity (15% more than the legal requirement);
- Prohibiting under 18s to play its lottery products;
- Imposing a fixed limit of ten plays a week;
- Enforcing that play limit – (Because its mobile phone-based games are traceable, unlike high street outlets, they allow excessive or addictive play to be stopped);
- Giving money back to charities in ways which are clearly visible – either by pre-nominating the charities, or allowing them to be selected by players
- The company’s other games, such as its reverse auction, ‘How Lo’, also employ similarly stringent efforts to minimise the risks of underage or excessive game-play by setting clear participation limits.
Million-2-1 believes the future for lotteries lies in being ‘responsible and responsive’. Sheffield explains: “We are trying taking some of the harder edges off existing gambling formats and replace them with interaction and accountability. We call this ‘gamebling’. This softer, gamebling approach is proving an appealing offer to the mass of the public – who remain overwhelmingly against hard gambling.”
Sheffield concludes: “Building on our groundbreaking NSPCC lottery, we are in advanced discussion with a number of regional partners who would like to provide local lotteries along the lines we propose – giving money back to the causes local people believe in. Some partners are delighted to keep prizes down to £25,000, but others, like regional councils, want to be able to offer a much more eye-catching jackpot to support their social causes. We think a spirit of fairplay demands that the limit be raised, in parallel with tighter controls.”
- ENDS –
* Current law places a restriction on the maximum prize of £25,000, or up to 10% of proceeds, whichever is greater. By contrast the National Lottery can donate 33% of its proceeds towards a single prize and has been free to offer jackpots well in excess of £10million.
Note to editors:
Million-2-1 is a pioneer in the gamebling market. It creates and manages games which blend the fun of games with the ‘edge’ of gambling to create engaging new gamebling formats.
The company manages charity and sports lotteries, prize competitions, and fixed odds betting, as well as internet and SMS games. Million-2-1 is a licensed lottery manager and gaming license holder. Milion-2-1 has been running mobile phone games since October 2002. Partners include Channel 4, The NSPCC, Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, and O2.
Contact: Tim Kitchin, Glasshouse Partnership, 0207 255 0273