altIf you’re a fan of online bingo or bingo in general, then you’ll probably have heard of the new Health Lottery. It is a new UK lottery, launched just last month where players choose five numbers from one to fifty and to win a prize. Bingo Hideout are taking a closer look at The Health Lottery and asking is this a good thing or not?

So how does the Health Lottery work?

In their own words, The Health Lottery isn’t a national lottery; it’s a group of 51 local society lotteries. Each of these smaller lotteries has the relevant licenses and was set up to raise money for health related charities in their area, hence the overall Health Lottery name. Each local society will take turns in participating in the draw so every area will get their chance to gain some much needed funding. If you visit the Health Lottery website you can access a map of the participating social lotteries.

How does the money get distributed?

The Health Lottery is linked with health-related charities and causes and decisions on funding in local authorities. Every pound played on the Health Lottery results in a 20p donation to local health related causes. Bingo players can join in with this new lottery by buying their tickets online at the Health Lottery website or at a range of Health Lottery retailers.

The real effects of the Health Lottery?

Despite all the potential positives of the Health Lottery, it has been strongly criticised for offering a smaller percentage of the ticket price to good causes than the National Lottery. Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, has written letters to leading retailers highlighting that selling Health Lottery tickets may be “deeply damaging” to the charity sector, as the funds being given to local causes is significantly lower than that of other lotteries.

This isn’t the only controversy, this very week the government has been asked to look more closely at the Health Lottery’s formation and an apparent “loophole” which its organisers have been able to exploit. Charities have found the Health Lottery to be causing unfair competition as they believe that with the local society lotteries getting involved this could mean their funding might be significantly affected. The worry comes as the Health Lottery acts as an umbrella for its 51 participating local lotteries and there needs to be an assurance that all of them comply with the 2005 Gambling Act.

Devil’s advocate

The Bingo Hideout team see that this new Health Lottery could be of interest to many different bingo players and gaming fans but our concern is how it is going to effect the charities which of course is yet to be seen.

So there are some that see this new style lottery as a good thing and others that don’t and we are in the ‘don’t know’ camp; so come on Bingo Hideout readers, what do you think?