Lucky dip! West Norfolk council looks to raise funds for good causes by setting up a local lottery

Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Brian Long. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Brian Long. Picture: Matthew Usher.

When it comes to the lottery, it is often said you've got to be in it to win it.

But now a council taking the somewhat unusual step of setting up its own lottery will mean everyone's a winner, even if they don't hit the jackpot - because it will raise funds for local good causes.

West Norfolk council discussed getting the ball rolling on a web-based lottery, where players could buy a ticket for £1.

The money could go to a good cause or charity registered with the lottery, or donated to the council general fund. The general fund will be distributed to organisations that has borne the brunt of funding cuts, such as the King's Lynn Festival and Citizens Advice.

Council leader Brian Long said the lottery will counteract the effects of cuts to organisations.


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It is hoped it could raise between £5,000 and £15,000 per year.

He added: 'This scheme can look to replace some of that funding without the need to jump through hoops.

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'It is not to replace council funding but for organisations to raise funds instead of rattling a bucket on Lynn High Street on a wet Saturday.

'It is a method of moving forward from us handing out into a way to perpetuate self-sufficiency.'

But the lottery was described as a 'regressive tax' by councillor Jim Moriarty, with councillor Thomas Smith raising concerns about gambling being 'horribly addictive'.

Officer Robert Street said there were safeguards in place, such as a requirement for a debit or credit card to play the lottery in order to prevent children from gambling.

Concerns were also raised about the management of the lottery being delegated to an external management company, which will be responsible for creating the website - thought to cost around £5,000 - as well as marketing, collecting and distributing donations.

It will receive 17pc of the funds raised while of the remainder of the funds 50pc will go towards a good cause or charity, 10pc towards the general fund, 20pc to a prize fund jackpot and 3pc to VAT. If no good cause is selected, then 60pc will go to the general fund.

Mr Long hopes the plans will be approved by the council in order to start the lottery this year after it was agreed in principle at a committee hearing.

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