With the support of seven Premier League clubs, Alladin Ltd launched Britain’s first legal on-line lottery.
Topic: Games of chance and skill
Who: The Football Society of Great Britain and Alladin Lotteries
When: Spring 2000
With the support of seven Premier League clubs, Alladin Ltd launched Britain’s first legal on-line lottery. Football clubs will take 20 pence from each pound ticket bought by punters to enter for the weekly £20,000 jackpot and 20 per cent of sales of merchandise promoted on the site. The odds of winning the weekely jackpot are one in 142,506 as compared with one in 13.9 million in the National Lottery. To participate, players have to register with the Football Society as players and, using a credit card, open and maintain an account with at least £12 credit in it all times.
Why this matters:
Most "lottery" events in which prizes are awarded randomly, with no element of skill, and entrants have to pay to enter, are against the law in the UK. Broadly, there are four ways round the problem. One is the National Lottery, and of course only Camelot are authorised to operate this at present. Secondly small, not for profit society/club lotteries (eg village fete raffles)are exempt. Thirdly, local authority licences are available for narrow categories of prize event which are not commercially driven, and fourthly there are lotteries like Premiership Lotter-e which are registered with the Gaming Board, having met detailed requirements laid down in the 1976 Lotteries and Amusements Act as amended by the National Lotteries etc Act. The vital ingredient of the Premiership Lotter-e event is the involvement of the Football Society of Great Britain, a not-for-profit society specially set up to "advise" the participating football clubs on how to spend the proceeds. The object is not to fuel still higher transfer fees or player salaries, but to benefit the fans by for example improving ground facilities.
Clearly taking this route to operating a legal lottery is by no means straightforward and cannot be set up overnight, but if high enough levels of site traffic can be generated, the potential benefits may be sufficient to persuade other brand owners and promoters to follow Alladin’s lead.