Charities to face more red tape in light of new gambling laws

Gambling laws fast-tracked through Parliament before the last general election came into force on Saturday (1 September) and will lead to hardship for charities, lawyers have warned.

The Gambling Act 2005, which allows casinos to open 24 hours a day with unlimited jackpots, requires any organisation that uses forms of lotteries, such as raffles, to be audited if they make more than £20,000.

Eversheds gambling senior associate Ed Farrelly said national charities could feel the brunt of the additional red tape.

“Charities such as the National Trust, which rely heavily on raffles and tombolas to raise funds, may need operating licences and there will inevitably be an increase in regulatory control,” explained Farrelly.

The charities will be monitored by delegates from the Gambling Commission, which was set up through the act.

The act states that the commission is in charge of policing the industry and will be responsible for ensuring that gambling websites undertake compulsory age checks.

The new rules also create a new offence of permitting a child to gamble. Whether this will affect raffles and other, smaller forms of gambling is unclear.