PLANS for a local Redditch lottery to benefit community groups in the town and ease pressure on council finances have been recommended for approval.
The lottery, which would be run by management company Gatherswell Ltd, would be drawn once a week with a top prize of £25,000 – at odds of a million to one – for matching the six numbers.
Five numbers would win £2,000, four would win £250, three would land the ticket holder £25 and two numbers would win three free tickets.
The draw would be once a week and tickets would be £1.
There would be no rollover.
In a presentation, members of the council’s executive committee heard if just three per cent of eligible people took it up it could produce a return of £53,000 for good causes a year.
For 2017/18 the council has given out grants of £135,000 to organisations meeting its own strategic priorities and £16,548 in smaller grants.
Proceeds from the lottery could help reduce these sums.
Redditch would use a system developed by Aylesbury Vale District Council which has been adopted by more than 50 other local authorities.
Nigel Ashton from Aylesbury Vale said more than 200 organisations, from sports clubs to local charities were supported by their lottery.
Answering fears that a local lottery would encourage gambling, he said: “There is an awful lot of choice out there and for anyone who wants instant gratification this is not it.
“This is the most magnolia type of gambling. They are not doing this to win the money they are doing it to support local good causes.”
To which Councillor Gregg Chance (Lab, Central) said: “It’s gambling whether you call it magnolia or not and I am concerned about funding council services through a lottery.
“I’m old fashioned enough to believe we should fund council services through taxation.
“The person who buys a lottery ticket is probably someone who needs to win the money.
We will be paying for services through those least able to afford it.”
However Coun Tom Baker-Price (Con, Headless Cross & Oakenshaw) backed the proposals, saying: “This is a really good way to provide additional support for good causes and charities in this locality.”
Initial council set up costs would be £10,000 with ongoing costs estimated at £2,500.
For every £1 ticket 50 per cent would go to local good causes, 20 per cent in prizes, 10 per cent to the council, 17 per cent to the lottery provider with three per cent on VAT.
It was agreed to back the recommendation to full council with Labour councillors Chance and Bill Hartnett abstaining.