Fundraisers speak out after gambling laws hinder charitable endeavours

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TWO fundraisers have described how their efforts to generate money for charity have been hindered by the Island’s gambling laws.

Cheyenne O’Connor and Emma Keane both spoke out after their charitable endeavours were hampered by the Island’s current legislation.

Ms O’Connor, who supports several organisations including Jersey Hospice, the Women’s Refuge and Jersey Action Against Rape (JAAR), had run a charity Christmas raffle for the past six years.

However, this year she was informed it was prohibited by Jersey’s gambling laws.

‘What a time we live in when it’s made this difficult to do something good for someone who needs it,’ she said.

Ms Keane raised £5,500 for the Jersey branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association through a charity quiz night, and decided to boost her fundraising by also conducting a raffle for the same cause.

However, she said she received a call from the Jersey Gambling Commission – after advertising the raffle to her friends on social media – informing her that she was breaking the law.

‘I can’t turn around to the MND Association and say, “I want that money back” – you just can’t do that to a charity,’ she said.

Jason Lane, the chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, said that gambling involved events with a prize of monetary value where the outcome was down to chance.

Jason Lane Picture: JON GUEGAN

The gambling law therefore includes events such as bingo, raffles, and lotteries, which are often used as ways to raise money for charity.

He added: ‘The key issue is that gambling events that raise money for charity must be run by the charity, not by what is essentially a random person.’

He continued: ‘This has nothing to do with stopping people raising money for a good cause, but it has to be done the right way.’

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