A UK couple who had hoped to raffle off their home have been forced to end the competition after it was found that the raffle was in breach of gambling rules.
The couple, who live in Yorkshire, had sold tickets priced at £10 apiece with the price being their four-bedroom house, as they hoped to move closer to their son.
But the Gambling Commission has ruled that the couple’s competition is a potential lottery under the law and is not legal. The couple, who have undertaken to refund all ticket purchasers, criticised the Gambling Commission for not issuing its ruling sooner, since it is reported that the Commission was aware of the competition back in July 2018.
Speaking on Thursday a spokesperson for the Commission said that while they were unable to comment directly on individual cases, they had a duty to prevent illegal gambling:
“This includes identifying when promotions described as ‘competitions’ or ‘free prize draws’ are in fact lotteries which should be properly licensed.”
The trend of raffling homes has been increasing in recent years, but there is often a fine line between what is considered an illegal lottery and a legal competition, with the determining factor often depending on whether the competition involves a game of chance. The penalty for running an illegal lottery can be severe and include fines of up to £5000 or up to a year in jail.