Schedule 1 - Betting: Prize Competitions: Definition of Payment to Enter

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Moss Malcolm Moss Shadow Minister, Home Affairs 2:45 pm, 11th November 2004

The amendments refer to similar situations and seek to protect respectable promoters of competitions for which there may be entirely legitimate costs associated with consumers collecting their prize, while ensuring that operators could not possibly benefit financially from such costs. Consumers would still be protected from the type of scam that was described in other places—certainly in

the scrutiny Committee—but also have the opportunity to win worthwhile prizes. Without the amendment, all sorts of meaningful prizes might be outlawed.

By way of illustration and to help the Committee, perhaps I could give some examples. Could a car be offered as a prize if the insurance and road fund licence had to be paid by the winner, or would that scheme be considered a lottery on the basis that payment of the insurance would be regarded as payment to participate? Suppose someone won a competition to go to a concert, perhaps in Sheffield. In order to take possession of their prize—to attend the concert—they must pay the associated costs of travelling to Sheffield, as if they wanted to go there. Would such a competition also fall foul of paragraph 7? Let us say that a person wins a prize by which they get a 50 per cent. discount on something, say a cruise. In order to take possession of their prize—to join the cruise—they would have to pay the other 50 per cent. The consumer may well consider the discount an extremely valuable prize, yet, as I interpret paragraph 7, it may be prohibited.

Those are the issues that have been raised with us. The question is whether the wording is accurate enough to allow for some leeway of interpretation for those prizes, games and competitions that are currently operated but which are not scams and which do not rip off the public in any way.