Good causes to benefit from launch of Worcester Community Lottery

Worcester City Council is getting ready to launch a local lottery to raise funds for city charities and other good causes. 

The new Worcester Community Lottery will give players the chance to sign up for entry into a weekly draw and to specify which local causes they want to benefit from their subscription. 

The City Council's Income Generation Sub-Committee will meet next week to decide the rules for selecting good causes and how funds are awarded. Local good causes will be able to sign up to benefit from the Worcester Community Lottery from February, and tickets for the prize draw will go on sale in the spring. 

Councillor Roger Knight, Vice Chair of the Income Generation Sub-Committee, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Worcester community organisations that might otherwise struggle to get access to funds to benefit from the support of local people. 

"Worcester Community Lottery will give players the chance to say exactly which local charity they want to benefit every time they buy a ticket, or to make a contribution to a local community fund." 

Councillors on the Sub-committee will be asked on January 15 to agree the rules on which good causes can sign up to benefit from the new lottery. The criteria that they are being recommended to back include organisations being not-for-profit and providing services or activities specifically for Worcester residents. 

The Sub-committee will also be asked to agree which good causes will benefit from the community fund that players of the Worcester Community Lottery can choose to pay into. 

It is expected that local scouts and guides, sports clubs, drama groups, arts groups and charities supporting vulnerable members of society will be among the good causes that will receive funds from the new lottery. 

The City Council has brought in Gatherwell Ltd to operate the lottery. The company already runs successful draws for Aylesbury, Portsmouth, Melton Mowbray, Gloucester and around 100 other councils across England. 

When tickets go on sale in the spring, players will sign up for a subscription to the lottery through a dedicated website, and will be able to nominate which organisations should benefit from their purchase. 

It is expected that local good causes will encourage their supporters to join the lottery in order to raise funds for their activities. Alternatively, players can choose to support the community fund, which the City Council will distribute to good causes. Tickets will cost £1 each, which will be divided as follows:

  • 60p to good causes
  • 20p to the prize fund
  • 16p to the lottery management company for administration and management
  • 4p VAT.

The maximum jackpot prize in the weekly draw will 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. Worcester Community Lottery has been approved by the Gambling Commission will be run as a "low risk" model that will not encourage gambling. 

Players will only be able to take part by signing up in advance, there will be no "instant reward" element and the prizes are relatively small. The marketing of the scheme will focus mainly on the potential for supporting local voluntary, charity and community groups.
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