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Jersey Legislates For Charitable Gambling Activities

by Jason Gorringe,, London

04 December 2012

The Gambling (Charitable and Membership Gambling Services) (Jersey) Regulations, 2012, is to come into force on January 1, 2013, establishing a legal framework to allow the Jersey Gambling Commission to offer concessionary terms to those undertaking charitable gambling activities.

A "charity" for the purposes of the law generally means a corporation, association, trust or non-profit organization referred to in Article 115 of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961, where its activities are for the purposes of:

  • The advancement of education;
  • The relief of poverty;
  • The furtherance of religion;
  • A purpose beneficial to the whole community; or,
  • A non-profit organization within the meaning of the Non-Profit Organizations (Jersey) Law 2008 where that organization is established solely or primarily for cultural purposes, and receives funds wholly or mainly from the States of Jersey in pursuance of those purposes.

This definition also includes sporting and social clubs who wish to engage in public fundraising, but it does not include gambling within such clubs reserved for members only and not open to the public.

The legislation aims to facilitate charitable fundraising activity by generally exempting operators from the need to acquire permits. Charitable organizations may host events without needing to acquire a permit if the prize pools are below GBP1,500 (USD2,415) and that organization holds less than three events per year. A nominal fee of GBP20 will be levied on organizations undertaking regular small- to medium-scale fundraising through gambling-related activities.

The Jersey Gambling Commission has clarified that those undertaking more significant charitable gambling activity, where prize pools exceed GBP30,000 within a year, will be required to obtain a permit, with the fee tied to the value of the prize pools being offered.

Specific provisions in the law require that charities offering charitable bingo must obtain a permit if the maximum prize fund per session (24 hour period) exceeds GBP1,500 or where the total prize money in any one calendar year exceeds GBP12,000. Charitable lotteries may only be conducted after having received a permit where the combined value of prizes in any one draw is in excess of GBP12,000, or where prizes exceed GBP30,000 in any one year.

In its Policy Statement for the Regulation of Charitable Gambling in Jersey, the Commission states: "The provision of a permit to undertake charitable gambling is reserved for those types of gambling that either appear as if they are of a scale to warrant being classed as commercial (other than not being for private gain) or for such reasons as the Commission may specify in writing to a charity, normally based on a risk assessment or prior regulatory action. Permits issued by the Commission are subject to a similar level of oversight as commercial licences and are subject to both mandatory and supplementary conditions."

TAGS: law | international financial centres (IFC) | Jersey | fees | gambling | licensing | legislation | charities

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