Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

  1.  The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust was set up in 1904 by Joseph Rowntree, the successful chocolate and confectionery manufacturer, who was also a Quaker. The Trust makes grants to non-profit organisations for legally charitable work in relation to Poverty and Economic Justice; Peace; Democratic Process; Racial Justice; Corporate Responsibility; and Quaker Concerns. The Trust has at various times through its history taken a particular interest in the effects of gambling—a concern more relevant than ever today when the amount spent on gambling has risen from £3.126 billion in 1990 to £6.884 billion in 1999.

  2.  However, the Trust accepts that the National Lottery is here to stay. Thus, it is important to ensure that its effects are as benign as possible. It is in that spirit that the following ideas are submitted to the Committee.[33]

Methods of sale of Lottery tickets

  3.  Figures show that the poorest section of society gamble more on the Lottery in absolute terms, and very much more relative to income, than richer sections. Hence it would be appropriate to ensure that there are warnings at points of sale of Lottery tickets in large print indicating the proportion of money which is returned in prizes; and the chances of a £1 ticket winning any prize.

The structure of Lottery prizes

  4.  Prizes should be set at a maximum of £1m, with a substantial weighting towards sums in the £10,000-£100,000 range, where they would make a real difference to the lives of poorer people.

The enforcement of the age limit for purchase of Lottery tickets

  5.  Ticket holders should be required to provide a National Insurance number when buying one and/or claiming a prize. Alternatively younger people should be required to provide a "Prove It" card of the kind which they need to produce in pubs when buying alcohol. It is believed that the latter requirement would not entail any complications in relation to the European Union.

The impact of the National Lottery upon charities and charitable giving

  6.  Distribution of funds going to good causes should be skewed so as to provide sums more heavily weighted towards poorer communities than would be justified from a distribution based only on population. Of the good cause distributors, thus far it is only the National Lottery Charities Board which has shown both a commitment and competence in this regard. Its efforts should be rewarded.

  7.  A higher proportion of "good cause" money should be allocated for expenditure on charities, and on other initiatives which principally benefit poorer people. The proportion allocated to other "good causes" should be reduced. Much of the damage to the credibility of the Lottery as a vehicle for public generosity was undermined by grants such as that which enabled the purchase of the Churchill Papers, and that which funded the Royal Opera House. It continues to be undermined by the use of funds for purposes which are not truly "additional".

  8.  The National Lottery Charities Board has thus far not seen fit to offer core funding other than that which is shown to be a direct and identifiable consequence of its project funding. This policy should be reviewed and core funding for smaller and newer organisations should be permissible.

September 2000

33   In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that the Trust's senior paid officer, Steven Burkeman, is a member of the National Lottery Charities Board. This submission comes from the Trust as a body and not from him. Back

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