UK lottery executive Simon Rydings jailed for failure to pay charity

The CEO of Capen Limited spent charity proceeds on business costs.
The CEO of Capen Limited spent charity proceeds on business costs.

The chief executive of the lottery operator Capen Limited has been jailed for three months.

UK.- Simon Rydings, the chief executive of lottery operator Capen Limited, has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to deliver £285,000 to a charity beneficiary. Capen operated a lottery on behalf of Sheffield Hospitals Charity but failed to hand over the proceeds.

Birmingham Magistrates Court was told that Rydings spent the proceeds that should have gone to the charity on business costs and was unable to pay the full amount to the charity.

Rydings, from Edinburgh, must pay £1,000 compensation to the charity within 18 months of leaving prison. Capen Limited’s licence had already been suspended last December.

It initially received an operating licence in 2014 followed by a software licence in 2017. It ran the brands Little Lottery, the Sports Lotto, Zaffo and previously Lottery For Kids.

Helen Venn, executive director of the Gambling Commission, said Rydings had “completely failed as the CEO of a company with a Gambling Commission licence” and that he was “now paying the price”.

She said: “Lotteries in this country can only be run for good causes – charities and other non-commercial organisations who run lotteries rely heavily on the income they receive from lotteries to support the important work they do.

“Consumers in this country deserve to know that when they enter a lottery they are helping support their chosen cause – and we will not hesitate to take action against individuals who misuse funds in the way Rydings did.”

The UK government is currently carrying out a review of potential reforms to the charity lotteries sector and evaluating the possibility of increasing the charity lottery sales limit by 100 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Australian lottery firm Jumbo Interactive, which owns and manages lotteries in the UK, has urged the UK government to close a loophole that allows prize draws to avoid regulations that cover lotteries and raffles.

It’s called on the government to regulate prize draws and competitions like gambling.

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