HL Deb 19 June 2003 vol 649 cc144-5WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking following the review of the law on prize competitions by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. [HL3458]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey)

In May 2002 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport 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 either they require a degree of skill, or they have a clear and open free entry route. Competitions based on forecasting will he 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 to all respondents to our consultation exercise and placed copies in the Libraries of both Houses. The statement is also available on the DCMS website on www.culture.gov.uk.