Fate of NHS Loto hangs in balance

The decision to withdraw registration from NHS Loto puts the organisation’s future in jeopardy

The future of the NHS Loto has been thrown into doubt by the decision of a London local authority to withdraw its lottery registration. The de-registration follows a High Court judge’s dismissal of the NHS Loto’s claim to be a collection of 100 local lotteries as a “paperwork facade”.

The charity lottery has been forced to suspend its weekly paid-for competition while it restructures its network of 100 “branches” to bring it within the scope of the law.

The news could dent the hopes of NHS Loto operator Pascal & Company for a major UK relaunch with a 20m marketing budget. Pascal is seeking funding from a Malaysian company, Sin Heng Chan, which is executing a rights issue to fund its break into the UK lottery market.

National Hospital Trust, the charity for which NHS Loto raises funds, says it is planning to reinstate the paid-for draw “within weeks”. It is restructuring its operations, and may use up to ten branches registered in other local areas.

NHS Loto had been registered by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea since 1988. But the local authority suspended its registration in March on the grounds that it was a single national lottery, rather than a collection of 100 separate lotteries as claimed by Pascal & Company. The council also argued that NHS Loto should fall under the control of the Government-funded Gaming Board which has greater powers of financial scrutiny than a local authority.

An appeal by Pascal & Company led to a High Court hearing last month. But it was rejected and the registration formally lapsed on August 1. A paid-for lottery is deemed to be operating illegally if it is not registered by either a local authority or the Gaming Board.

News analysis page 20

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here