Peterborough Lottery set to be discussed by Cabinet

Council / 30 Jun 2017

Plans to launch a lottery in Peterborough which will enable good causes to benefit from the proceeds will be considered by Peterborough City Council's cabinet on Monday 10 July 2017.

The city council announced its intention to launch a Peterborough Lottery as part of the 2017/18 budget setting process which was approved by councillors in March.

The move follows a number of other councils which have introduced a local lottery to raise money for community and voluntary groups, including Gloucester City Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council.

If approved, the lottery would be launched in the autumn and tickets would be sold online for £1. The draw would be weekly with a jackpot of £25,000 and a range of smaller prizes on offer too.

Sixty per cent of the proceeds raised will go to good causes, with the aim of raising around £5,500 in the first year and £67,500 by year three.

If cabinet members approve the proposal, the lottery will need to be licensed by the Gambling Commission, a requirement of which is for the council to contribute to the support of problem gambling. The website will also contain a section providing links to gambling support organisations.

Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council, said: "A number of other local authorities have launched lotteries and they have proved a success, helping those councils to further support local voluntary and community groups. In its first year, the Aylesbury Vale District Council lottery generated over £70,000 for local good causes, exceeding all original targets when launched. Over 150 good causes are already signed up and benefitting from the lottery in that part of the country. 

"Although we currently give money to a number of good causes, with council funding reducing all the time we are limited to the amount we can offer and the number of groups we can support. We know there are many other groups and organisations in the community that would benefit from funding if we could offer it and a lottery could allow us to do so.

"If just 0.5 per cent of our population who will be eligible to play did so, it would generate a benefit to the community of £22,000. That's a fantastic amount which could have huge benefits to our residents.

"We will not take a penny of the profits made, but it will allow us to spend less of our ever dwindling budget on community grants. That way we have more money to spend on the services that we have a duty to provide for our residents, in particular protecting and caring for the elderly, young and vulnerable."

Participants will be able to choose from two types of ticket, either a local lottery ticket or a specific Peterborough good causes ticket. 

A local lottery ticket will operate city-wide and see profits go into a general Good Cause Central Fund (60 per cent) to be administered and distributed by the council. This will help support voluntary and community organisations which may struggle to raise funds as easily as others, perhaps due to their size or the issues that they are addressing.

The specific good causes lottery would involve groups signing up to take part in a specific ‘sub lottery’ for their individual good cause.

This would provide them with their own lottery web page, helping the good cause to engage with their players and raise income. They would operate under the council's license and have no need for their own lottery system. This ticket type ensures that the majority of the proceeds go to that specific good cause (50 per cent) and the general Good Cause Fund (10 per cent). 

There are some schools in Peterborough which have set up their own lottery to generate additional income, such as Orton Wistow Primary School. The weekly draw currently generates income of around £1,200 each year for the school's parent teacher association, which is then reinvested back into the school. 

Carmel Leaves, chair of Orton Wistow Primary School's parent teacher association, said: "We launched the lottery in ​April 2016​ and so far it has proved really successful. It currently makes us around £1,200 a year which is money we can then invest back into the school. Every week there is a local prize ​of around £16​ which is guaranteed to be won by someone ​from our school, and we also get entered into the national draw to win £25,000.

"With school funding reducing, a lottery is a great way for us to support our aims of ​enhancing​ our children's ​learning and education environment."

If the city council was to set up its own lottery it would allow other schools to become part of the Peterborough local lottery through a sub lottery, without having to pay the costs to set up their own.

The cabinet report in full is on the council's democracy website