Current project status

In our consultation paper we propose the repeal of some seven obsolete statutory provisions that relate to the holding of different forms of lottery.

Six of the seven proposed repeals involve whole Acts which were passed in the period 1711 to 1807.  These Acts were secured so that a variety of private lotteries could be held in London with a view to raising funds for the relevant lottery promoters.  In each instance the main purpose behind the lottery was to sell sufficient tickets at a price which, cumulatively, would cover the value of the principal prize or prizes on offer (for example, an art collection, realised to fund the printing of Thomas Macklin’s folio Bible or, in one instance, an extremely rare gem, the Pigot Diamond).  The lottery mechanism was used as an alternative to trying to effect outright sale of the asset, which – for reasons relating to the then prevailing economic climate – had proved (or would prove) impractical.  

The seventh statute in this series (the more modern Pool Competitions Act 1971) sought to regulate pool betting competitions for charitable and sporting societies.  The Act was time-limited on its face, and finally expired – although was never repealed – in 1987.  Control of the pool betting industry is today governed by the Gambling Act 2005.  The 1971 provisions are redundant.

None of the legislative provisions discussed in this paper now have practical usefulness.  Each is recommended for repeal through the Law Commission’s next Statute Law (Repeals) Bill.

The closing date for comments is 12 April 2010.

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