Cambridgeshire County Council reveals plan to run its own lottery that it hopes will raise £2m in five years for local good causes

PUBLISHED: 16:51 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:51 17 January 2018

Cambridgeshire County Council considering launching its own lottery

Cambridgeshire County Council considering launching its own lottery

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A lottery set up and run by Cambridgeshire County Council could boost income for many deserving local causes, says a report to a county council committee next Tuesday.

It could also save council tax payers’ money by switching existing grants with money generated by the lottery.

Sales will operate through a dedicated website with an expected return in year one of £165,000 of which £30,000 is expected to be used to offset existing grants.

Over a five year period it is estimated the lottery could bring in over £300,000 to offset existing grants which does not include a further £1.7 million to support local good causes.

Winning players will be notified by email and the prize put directly into their account.

Council officials expect one per cent of the population of Cambridgeshire will buy lottery tickets each week – a figure they describe as ‘conservative’. Officials also claim research that shows lotteries attract not only prize motivated supporters “but altruistic and optimistic supporters, covering a range of customer motivations”.

The launch is expected by the summer and tickets will cost £1 with a maximum prize of £25,000.

Draws would be weekly and all tickets will be sold on line.

“All monies raised by the lottery go to good causes- the council in effect takes no funding, rather it defers its existing committed funding, thereby releasing general funds back to the county council,” says the report.

The money making scheme is set out in a business case being presented to the general purposes committee and claims a lottery “would be a step towards more innovative models of funding to help maximise outcomes to residents”.

Over 30 local councils now run lotteries – Peterborough launches its own in March – and the report says customers would have a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize, much higher than many of the national lotteries that are available.

Councillors are being warned of a small reputational risk but are also being assured “this risk is minimal and outweighed by the benefits”.

The model being developed by the county council will see 60 per cent of proceeds ploughed back into supporting local good causes which includes money that be used to offset some existing grants.

“A Cambridgeshire lottery may also reduce demand on council services by creating funding streams to organisations that further support a community resilience approach and relieve pressure on services,” says the report.

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