City Council to debate launch of Worcester Lottery
Worcester City Council is to consider setting up a local lottery to raise funds for city charities.
The initiative would allow residents to sign up for entry into a weekly draw and to specify which local causes benefit from their subscription.
The City Council’s Income Generation Sub-Committee will be recommended to back the establishment of a Worcester City Lottery at its meeting on July 10.
Councillor Pat Agar, who chairs the Sub-Committee, said: “As a Council we are committed to ensuring Worcester is a prosperous city with strong and connected communities. This lottery would support many charities and voluntary organisations that provide services for our residents, and I hope councillors will support it.”
If it is agreed, the new lottery would only raise funds for local causes in Worcester. Beneficiaries could include scouts’ and guides’ groups, sports clubs, drama groups, arts groups and charities supporting vulnerable members of society.
Players would sign up for a subscription to the lottery through a dedicated website, and could nominate which organisation should benefit. It is expected that charities and other local groups would encourage their supporters to join the lottery in order to raise funds for their activities.
There would also be a general fund which players can choose to support. Proceeds from this would be distributed to local organisations in line with criteria that the Council would need to agree.
The maximum jackpot prize in the weekly draw would be £25,000, or 10 per cent of the gross ticket sales – whichever is the greater. Rollovers will be allowed if no one wins, up to the same £25,000 limit.
If the Sub-Committee gives it backing, the proposed lottery would need approval from the Gambling Commission before it could be launched.
The Council would bring in an external lottery manager to operate the scheme. A one-off fee of around £3,000 would be paid to the manager to set up the new digital platform to run the lottery, and the Council would then pay an annual licence fee of around £1,000, plus around £2,000 a year for marketing of the lottery.
The income from the lottery would be expected to be split as:
- 60 per cent to good causes
- 20 per cent to the prize fund
- 16 per cent to the external lottery manager for administration and management
- 4 per cent VAT.
Similar schemes have already been successfully launched in other parts of the country, including Aylesbury, Melton Mowbray, Gloucester and Portsmouth.
In the first year in Portsmouth, £72,540 was raised for good causes, alongside another £24,797 that was handed out to local organisations as one-off grants. £13,825 was paid out in cash prizes to 2,620 winners.
The proposed Worcester lottery would be run as a “low risk” model that would not encourage gambling. Players could only take part by signing up in advance, there would be no “instant reward” element and the prizes would be relatively small. The marketing of the scheme would focus mainly on the potential for supporting local voluntary, charity and community groups.