New House Raffle Website Claims to Be Within UKGC Guidelines  

property raffle.

A new property raffle website claims to be within gambling laws and offer a legitimate way to sell your house. (Image: fundraiserinsight.org)

The man behind a new house raffle site believes his venture is not only an affordable way for people to get on the property ladder but a legitimate gambling entity.

Following the launch of his website, Raffle House, Londoner Benno Spencer told This is Money that his plan is to run a business within the parameters of UK gambling laws.

The first property users can buy raffle tickets for is a one-bedroom flat in Brixton worth an estimated £650,000.

No Quota, No Sale

For the apartment to go, Spencer needs to sell 150,000 at £5 each or the for sale sign will remain in place.

“We wouldn’t want to disappoint any entrants or sellers by having the raffles shut down before their end date, as has happened with many of the amateur house raffles which have sprung up in recent months,” Spencer told This Is Money on April 19.

Over the last five years, property raffles have become increasingly popular in the UK. In December 2017, a millionaire from Devon decided to offload his luxury home by hosting a prize draw with tickets costing £10.50 each.

Following a surge in the number of potentially unlawful draws taking place, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued a statement in August 2017. As well as reminding hosts and consumers that it doesn’t offer any regulatory protection for house raffles, the organisation stated that draws may not be legal.

As per the law, only charities and non-profit organisations can legally run a lottery in the UK. Also, any prize draw, raffle or competition is governed by certain rules about gambling which property lotteries may not be adhering to.

Entrepreneur Tiptoeing Across a Minefield

Despite the myriad of legal conditions, Spencer believes he’s done enough to separate his product from the amateur draws and not break any laws.

“We’ve worked really hard to make sure this is an entirely legitimate marketplace through which to win property,” Spencer continued.

In the event a draw doesn’t meet the required number of ticket sales, the winner will receive a cash prize instead. Additionally, runner-up prizes of £1,000 each will be up for grabs.

Finally, entrants will have to answer questions about city populations before they can buy a ticket and five percent of all sales will go to a homeless charity. By covering these points and only taking a profit from any money left over from excess ticket sales, Spencer believes he is well within UKGC regulations.

Following the first raffle, a second London property in Whitechapel will go up for sale before the network of offerings expands across the country. 

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