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Prize Competitions

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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In May 2002 the Department issued a consultation letter concerning the law on prize competitions and lotteries. This followed the report of the independent Gambling Review, chaired by Sir Alan Budd, which the Department published in July 2001.The consultation document asked for replies by the end of August 2002. We received 70 responses, and have been considering them carefully.The Government are clear that lotteries will continue to be the preserve of good causes only. There should be no commercial, for-profit lotteries. The law should provide for a clear and enforceable distinction between lotteries and prize competitions, and the Government intend that the overall Bill on gambling which they propose should achieve that.The Bill will remove the restrictions on prize competitions in section 14 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. Under the Bill, prize competitions will be distinguishable from lotteries in that they either require a degree of skill, or that they have a clear and open free entry route. Competitions based on forecasting will be regulated as betting.Subject to any requirements arising from the European Regulation on Sales Promotions which is currently under discussion, the Bill will also provide for promotional prize draws.The Bill will act against so-called chain gifting schemes such as Women Empowering Women.We have made available a full statement of the conclusions which the Government have reached about these issues. We have sent this it to all respondents to our consultation exercise and deposited copies in the

Libraries of both Houses. The statement is also available on the Department's website on