Social media lottery warning

Social media lotteries could cost you more than you think…

We’ve all seen them, transfer £5 and you could win a bottle of gin…

You might want to scroll past them in future. 

Our financial investigators have issued a stark warning this week about the consequences of running online lotteries and raffles. 

Stacey Maddison, Financial Investigator, said: “The type of raffles we’re talking about usually run on closed social media groups, where you can pay five pounds and win a bottle of gin, or a handbag, or a set of candles. What people might not realise is that by doing this, they are effectively running a lottery and you need a gambling licence to do this. 

“In lots of cases, people are donating to unknown individuals, who have unknown intentions. What we can tell you is their intentions are possibly more than a ‘just a bit of fun’. Nationally we are seeing cases where people are pocketing a lot of money from these lotteries, and at the extreme end, funding criminal activity with the proceeds.

“If you’re running these types of raffles or lotteries, you might be doing it with good intentions, but you should know your activity could be flagged to us, or the gambling commission, and there are consequences.

“If you’re found in breach of the Gambling Act, you could face a heavy fine. 

“If we find you to be linked to further criminal activity, or money laundering, then you can expect a prison sentence. 

“Let me be clear, the last thing we want people to think is that we’re advising against charitable donations or activity. If you’re a charity or community organisation who is doing this, or planning on doing so, I’d say contact the gambling commission to make sure you’ve got everything in place.” 

For more information about running online raffles click here.

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