NEW DiS RAFFLE: But is it even legal?

Hey gang!

As some of us have been discussing in this thread, we thought it’d be worth trying to set up a raffle similar to what has been done in the past to raise funds for the DiS Community Hardship Fund. This time, we thought the proceeds could go towards covering server costs for DiS, as it’s quite a big expense that @sean sometimes has to pay out of pocket.

However, we (me and @froglet who kindly volunteered to help organise this thing) soon became concerned about the legality of this specific form of raffle, and we were hoping that someone on here would have some experience or insight to share on the matter. We’ve been looking at this link:

https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/for-the-public/Fundraising-and-promotions/Fundraising/Fundraising.aspx

I would argue that this is not for “personal or commercial gain”, as it would be the community coming together to help fund its own existence, if that makes sence. But I’m also aware that these definitions can be tricky, and obviously want to be on the safe side.

Just be very clear about the concept: What we want to do is to host a raffle on here, where people buy tickets in order to win prizes that have in turn been donated from community members, and the ticket money would go towards covering server costs and nothing else.

Anyone?

3 Likes

new dis who phone

2 Likes

Not a lawyer, but I feel like the chances of anything raised issues with this is exceptionally small.

If there’s a concern, could you not make it free to get tickets but encourage voluntary donations at a certain rate - I wouldn’t expect that to be widely abused? (Maybe the powers that be would take a dim view of this as a fudge, but it’s the kind of thing lots of organisations probably do).

3 Likes

I reckon it’d be fine buuuuuuttt at a push a gofundme where you do the donation using your Dis username.
Then in a seperate move someone takes these names and with goodwill decides to raffle off prizes to those who made donations, unlinked of course :grin::+1:

1 Like

I had the thought that maybe we could have a fee for a ticket that would go to charity, with an additional, voluntary “suggested donation” for the site, not sure if that would get around it

P. S.

1 Like

"### Only for good causes

Lotteries in Great Britain can only be promoted for charities and other good causes. They cannot be promoted for private or commercial gain."

This is the key bit I think

And this is a good cause, right?

2 Likes

Not a lawyer really (no, really) but from the guidance on the linked page I would suggest that a raffle to raise funds to support a community forum is akin to a private society raising funds for the support of upkeep/activities related to the society’s purpose. Which would be fine.

However, I can see the counter argument that this forum is part of DiS, which might be considered a commercial enterprise, and so contributing funds towards hosting costs is in effect for commercial gain (as it offsets DiS costs generally), which would not be fine.

3 Likes

I think any attempts to get clever with suggested donations wink wink nudge nudge are a bad idea. The law isn’t an algorithm, you can’t circumvent the purpose of a particular law by trying to fudge those technicalities.

2 Likes

Anyone reckon it makes a difference who the host/sender is? Whether it’s DiS Inc. or just, some members of the community?

Also way too much admin tbh

3 Likes

Would also be worth finding out what the consequence of getting this wrong is. If it’s sean goes to jail, probably not worth the risk. If it’s “stop this phony fundraising immediately” then fuck it, go ahead.

This is not legal advice

2 Likes

You are hereby our legal representative

1 Like

But it’ll still cost you £50 per word.

5 Likes

lets not take anything off the table just yet

15 Likes

Would it make any difference if the proceeds of the raffle went to Sean as an individual to cover some costs that he’s incurred rather than DiS (which just happens to be where those costs have been incurred)?

2 Likes

it’s a little bit more complicated than whether it is for a ‘good cause’ https://beta.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/guide/page/how-to-run-a-lottery-with-people-youre-in-a-club-with

also need to consider:

  • who counts as a ‘member’ (presumably registered users)
  • the fact that it’s online and not on premises is a potential problem Advertising and promoting your lottery or raffle online
  • the difference between physical and digital tickets (may not be ok to ask people to print their own)

if I’m understanding you correctly, this would make it even less compliant