Tuesday, 1 November 2011

More pressure on Desmond's lottery

There has been a great deal of controversy over Richard Desmond's National Health lottery and now the pressure may be rising after the charity chief executives body Acevo has asked nine supermarkets and major retailers to stop selling its tickets.

The body argues that the Health Lottery gives a lower proportion of its proceeds to good causes than the National Lottery and other lotteries.

In a letter to companies including WH Smith, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, says: "There is a very obvious danger that ticket sales for the Health Lottery could detract from sales of the National Lottery and other lotteries.

"Quite simply, this would mean less money going to good causes. At a time when charities are so financially constrained, this would be deeply damaging.
"I would strongly urge you to withdraw your support for the Health Lottery with immediate effect."

Bubb has also written to Richard Desmond saying his adverts for the Health Lottery explicitly compare it to the National Lottery when that is untrue.

The news will come as another blow to the competition launched in a blaze of oublicity last month after the culture secretary said the new lottery could create more harm than good.

Jeremy Hunt told the culture committee that the Gambling Commission would investigate whether the Channel 5 lottery was diverting money away from similar charitable lotteries.

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