HC Deb 30 July 1998 vol 317 c400W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will report the outcome of consultation on the draft Bill to restrict the operation of on-line lotteries; and if he will make a statement. [54148]

Mr. Michael

We published the draft Lotteries (Frequent Draws) Bill on 7 January for comments. We received responses on behalf of 127 organisations and individuals.

Among those we consulted, 46 respondents supported legislation. These included other gambling sectors, churches, regulators and organisations concerned with problem gambling. 74 respondents opposed legislation, predominantly charitable organisations which had hoped for an additional source of finance for their sector. The remaining seven respondents were neutral or expressed no overall view.

Most of those in favour of legislation supported or accepted the draft Bill's proposal for a limit of one draw a day in all premises. Most of those against it suggested that we should await research on the effect of rapid on-line lottery draws or a general review of gambling legislation.

We have concluded that on-line lotteries do need to be brought under proper statutory controls. We intend to legislate when the legislative programme allows.

As previously proposed, the legislation will be used to limit on-line lottery draws to one a day in any particular premises, with the detailed provisions being amended in the light of points made in consultation.

We also consulted on possible increases to stake and proceeds limits. As previously indicated, it will not be appropriate to proceed with that matter until legislation restricting the frequency of on-line lotteries is in place. In the light of the consultation, we will further consider whether such increases are desirable in due course.

I am making available an analysis of the responses to the consultation and paper setting out the Government's views on the main points raised. I have placed copies of these documents in the Library, together with the responses.