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Charity lotteries: do they cause problem gambling?

Blog | Fundraising advice
October 19, 2023

Charity lotteries are a popular and effective means of raising funds for a wide range of good causes. Some fundraisers have expressed concerns about the potential link between charity lotteries and problem gambling. While it’s crucial to be vigilant about gambling-related issues, research suggests that charity lotteries pose a low risk of problem gambling compared to other forms of gambling.

By partnering with a reputable lottery provider like StarVale, non-profit organisations can leverage the power of lotteries to make a positive impact on their communities while upholding the highest standards of responsible play.

Understanding the low risk of problem gambling with charity lotteries

A study by nfpSynergy, a research consultancy specialising in the non-profit sector, found that charity lotteries have a low prevalence of problem gambling compared to other types of gambling activities. The study shows the prevalence of problem gambling across various channels, with charity lotteries and other lotteries falling at the lower end of the spectrum. 

Several factors contribute to the low risk of problem gambling associated with charity lotteries, including:

  • Player motivation
  • How frequent draws are
  • What’s driving organisations behind the lotteries.

Altruism and support

The motivation behind engaging in gambling activities plays a crucial role in determining the risk of problem gambling. Charity lotteries predominantly attract individuals driven by altruism and a desire to support a cause, rather than solely seeking financial gain. The study indicates that 55% of players participate in charity lotteries to support a cause, significantly reducing the risk associated with excessive gambling behaviour.

Infrequent participation

Unlike many other forms of gambling that allow for frequent and rapid play like slot machines and sports betting, charity lotteries typically involve infrequent participation. Draws often occur at regular intervals, such as weekly, which discourages compulsive gambling. This slower pace allows players to avoid the allure of chasing losses.

Organisational objectives

The prevalence of problem gambling is influenced by the motives behind the overseeing bodies of various gambling activities. Charity lotteries are primarily dedicated to raising funds for charitable causes, not personal profit. On the other hand, major multinational betting corporations are solely focused on maximising profits. This stark contrast leads to a significant difference in the risk of problem gambling. The risk associated with online gambling activities like slots, casino games, or bingo stands at 9.5%, whereas participating in charity lotteries poses a significantly lower risk of 1.5%.

StarVale: committed to compliance and responsible play

At StarVale, we understand the importance of responsible gambling and are dedicated to providing compliant and safe lottery solutions. We have a proven track record of over 25 years in the lottery industry, adhering to the highest standards of compliance and responsible play.

StarVale is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission, ensuring we are compliant with even the strictest industry standards. Our systems and technology are subject to rigorous audits and must meet stringent requirements in terms of compliant systems, player protection, responsible gambling practices and financial integrity.

We create customised policies and procedures that are tailored to their specific needs and ensure that they are always operating in compliance with all relevant regulations. We also provide regular training to our clients’ employees on responsible gambling practices.

Get in touch to find out more about how StarVale ensures your lottery is compliant.




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StarVale, a subsidiary of Jumbo Interactive Limited, is a registered External Lottery Manager licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account number 3273.