Gambling Commission clarifies position on house competitions

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Gambling Commission clarifies position on house competitions

Following the news that the Oldborough Retreat Devon competition draw would be allowed to proceed a few days ago, the Gambling Commission has published a new paper warning other competition organisers that this does not necessarily mean it considers other similar competitions to be legal. It also clarifies that its role is not to approve house competitions under any circumstances, but rather to ensure they respect the requirements of the UK Gambling Act 2005.

The paper confirms that it wrote to some 50 competition organisers in recent months warning them that they may be running a form of illegal lottery. Despite allowing the Wilshaws to proceed with their draw after seven months of intense discussions, it is apparent that the Commission does not want other organisers to assume that theirs is necessarily legal as a result of this decision.

The Commission goes on to highlight that a number of factors are considered in each case, and that "prosecution will not be pursued unless there is a realistic prospect of conviction and if it is considered to be in the public interest." This suggests that other competition organisers may not be able to draw too many conclusions from the outcome of the Oldborough Retreat competition. As we reported previously, some observers have opined that the Commission may have backed down due to lack of confidence in its ability to prosecute the couple, rather than because the competition was in fact legal.

For more details about the various points covered in this latest paper from the Gambling Commission, click to read the full article on the Win a House website.


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