Gambling and charity

Most iGaming businesses are primarily motivated by profit. It’s understandable as it’s an excellent business. However, many online casino and gambling companies make it a point to give money to charity as part of their goal. Many however get involved with charitable organizations and noble causes. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is such a thing as charitable gambling.

Supporting non-profit groups through charity donations is one method the sector attempts to fulfill its corporate social responsibility.

And you might be astonished to learn how much money gambling companies donate to charity each year, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of euros and dollars.

Background on Gambling and Charity

In summary, charitable gambling is a form of motivated philanthropy in which a charitable organization, rather than a commercial casino or iGaming operator, organizes gaming operations and uses the earnings to further its goals.

Games, monetary rewards, bonding opportunities, and, perhaps most significantly, a good cause to support are all common features of charitable gambling.

The word “charity” isn’t just used to make it legal; it implies that the proceeds will go to the specific cause or charity.

Building schools, sponsoring scholarships, and repainting church walls are just a few examples.  Set a big target, buy some poker tables and chips, a roulette wheel, and a blackjack table, recruit sponsors, and ask your local government authority for the legal terminology, and you’re good to go.

Charitable gaming businesses in the United Kingdom help raise much-needed funds for good causes while adhering to the UK Gambling Act of 2005’s restrictions.

Many of the groups that these operators assist finance would not have received any cash at all if it weren’t for them. Local and national organizations, of course, receive millions of pounds in donations.

A Quick Overview of Charitable Gambling

Gambling has existed since the Romans ruled Britain millennia ago. Betting has always existed in some form or another. It was once so popular that none other than King Richard I of England in 1190 decided to regulate it.

At that point only noblemen could afford to gamble. And, more often than not, those individuals could be found gambling for large sums of money in exclusive clubs or betting on horseracing.

The prospect of a high fine given to the Church and confiscation of the wager drove commoners and serfs to gambling under the cover of night. If caught they would also endure a welt-inducing beating.

How gambling has changed

Since the introduction of internet casinos, sports betting, and the growth of iGaming as a multibillion-pound business, people’s gambling habits have changed dramatically.

As British society progressed, rights and advantages previously reserved for noblemen were given to everyone. This meant that more individuals could afford to gamble, despite the heavy regulations

Gambling was still illegal, but the allure of winning something for next to nothing enticed Britons to put their money where their mouths were; risking their freedoms in the process.

Since the introduction of internet casinos, sports betting, and the growth of iGaming as a multibillion-pound business, people’s gambling habits have changed dramatically.

For one thing, gambling has never been more tempting to people from all walks of life. It’s the same with charitable gambling.

Now everyone can enjoy a wide range of charity iGaming alternatives without fear.

Charitable Gambling’s Evolution

Online sports betting and casinos today are light years ahead of the way our forefathers gambled.  The industry as a whole has changed. Even though charity iGaming is a relative newcomer in the field, you might be surprised to learn that the connection between wagering and charity dates back to the 16th century.

In the lottery industry, charitable iGaming businesses have done a lot of good. The British Museum was partly sponsored by the earnings of the British Museum Lottery in 1753.

After World War II, charity gambling groups grew in prominence to the point where its definition included all types of fundraising organizations that raised money for charity.

Now more than ever, people are supporting such fundraisers for causes that are important to their hearts. Furthermore, technological improvements have simplified participation in such activities.

Individuals can win not just a jackpot that might change their lives, but also a chance to reflect on the fact that a portion of their wagers goes to a worthy cause.

Is charitable gambling legal?

The UK Gambling Commission addresses this clearly; you can utilize gaming to raise funds for charitable purposes, but you must follow all applicable laws.

What’s the best part? Charity iGaming providers in the UK are not obliged to have a license to perform such activities, according to UKGC advice.
However, participants must be informed about the cause that the event is supporting; the earnings of the event must be donated to that charity; and no other activities must take place in the casino.

The Commission provides the following guidelines for gambling-related fundraising:

At events, you can raise money by holding lotteries or raffles. Fairs, fundraisers, concerts, and exhibitions are all permitted to hold raffles or lotteries.

You can raise money with 100 clubs. A 100 club (sometimes known as a 200 club, 500 club, and so on) is a group of people that hold private lotteries to raise money for charitable purposes.

Race nights are a great way to raise money.

Colleagues, partners or members of an organization can all help fundraise.

Bingo, casino, poker, and race evenings are all great ways to raise money. Individuals can raise funds for charity by hosting a bingo or poker night, according to the Commission’s restrictions.

Small society lotteries are good for raising funds. Small society lotteries with earnings of less than £20,000 do not require a license, but must be registered with local authorities in the jurisdiction in which the society is registered.

How to Put Together a Charitable Gambling Event

Here are some tips for organizing and running a charity gaming event.

  • Always observe the laws and regulations in your area.
    There are a variety of themes from which to chose for your event. Choose one that will be well-received by the community and, most importantly, is fully compliant with all applicable local rules and regulations.
  • Consider working with a non-profit gambling organization. Individuals may not be able to arrange a charity gambling event on their own due to local laws. In such instances, you might wish to consider employing an outside company to manage the operation.
  • Instead of playing casino games, hold a poker tournament.
    Poker nights take a lot less time and effort while still raising a lot of money. Players can purchase a seat or donate in order to receive tournament chips, and non-cash rewards may be provided as well.
  • Provide a diverse selection of games. 
    The more games you have available, the more enjoyable it will be, and the more money you will be able to raise. Consider including popular casino games such as baccarat, roulette, and blackjack in your lineup. These are the games most commonly played and wagered during charitable gambling events. Make sure everything is legal, regardless of which games you want to sell.
  • Establish your fundraising goals. 
    Entrance or engagement fees are not permitted in the United Kingdom. Investigate the potential of gaining sponsorship or raising revenue through the sale of other things. Don’t forget to offer opportunities to earn more chips during the evening by running parlor games or other gaming options.
  • Make preparations ahead of time. 
    It’s better if you plan ahead of time to publicize the event, buy or rent gambling equipment, set up awards and games, and so on. The devil is in the details!

Here are a few more advantages of using charitable gambling proceeds to fund your project:

  • Efficiency. Because of its advantageous cost-benefit ratio, charitable gambling is an effective revenue stream for charitable organizations. The majority of the costs associated with putting on such events are usually covered by the event organizer or partner.
  • Fewer “strings attached.” compared to other revenue sources.  
    Revenues from charitable gambling can cover vital costs and secure matching funds. Gambling provides charity organizations with a convenient source of this hard-to-come-by revenue.
    In some industries, there is widespread popular backing. In a study conducted in Canada in 2000, for example, the majority of respondents agreed that charitable groups should be the principal recipients of gambling proceeds. This is a good indicator of the lengthy and strong relationships that exist between gambling for a good cause and charitable organizations.

The Drawbacks of Gambling as a Fundraising Strategy
The viability of gambling as a lucrative source of income has been established. However, it is not without its drawbacks.

Here are some of the disadvantages of gambling for organizations who rely on it as a source of revenue:

  • Changing people’s attitudes toward gambling. 
    Certain charitable organizations are encouraged by their stakeholders to avoid using funding for gambling.
    The negative consequences of problem gambling have brought attention to the need of responsible gambling and the efforts made by governments to promote it.
  • Outside of the charitable sector, there is competition for gambling profits.
    As private groups continue to campaign for a piece of the pie, charitable gaming operators are being squeezed out.
  • Individual donations may be reduced if gambling income is overused. Individual contributors may regard gambling earnings as a replacement for their donations when charity groups and governments continue to associate gambling to charitable initiatives sponsored by gambling revenue.


Charitable gambling has a long history in the gambling world, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

Despite the gambling industry’s ever-changing landscape, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable gaming has established itself as a key element of the overall gambling sector.