House Competition Success & Raffle Failures

October 30th, 2020

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It’s been a while since our last win a house round up – in fact almost two months now. So what has been happening over the last few weeks? Well at time of writing there are currently just over 40 active competitions offering properties ranging from a tiny house through to a property portfolio. A number of raffles have closed with mixed success. The good news is that three competitions have created new home winners – Cwellyn Dream, Tramway Path and Elite Competitions all managed to sell sufficient tickets in order to create a new home winner. For Tramway Path that is their second successful competition whilst Cwellyn Dream ran a very slick campaign from start to finish.

£310,000 Cash For ‘Home Winner’

Not every house competition has had great success. With competitions hosted on Raffall we can get an accurate picture of sales. For example Prize Home Derbyshire sold 38452 of their 300,000 target. A contest offering a Turkish Villa however only sold 807 tickets from a pool of 500000. This isn’t all bad news for entrants because 75% of tickets sales is paid out as a cash prize by Raffall. In the Derbyshire property case that equates to a nice £57,000 prize and just over £1000 for the Turkish Villa. The only other winner in these cases is Raffall who take home the rest of the cash. The owners of these properties get nothing and are back to square one.

Of all the recent successes though the Elite Competitions one is of particular interest – at least with respect to this blog post. Elite Competitions run a raffle site which is full of pay to enter competitions offering cars and other lifestyle prizes. They decided to offer their users the chance to win a new home anywhere in the country and despite the tickets being expensive (around £15) they managed to sell all 25794 of them. The winner Daniel Hazel opted to take a £310,000 cash prize plus a further £10,000 as he entered during a promotional push. Elite Competitions have since started a second property competition with a holiday lodge but this hasn’t proven to be successful.

OurComps Collapses

Another raffle site however hasn’t had a good month. OurComps closed it’s doors a couple of weeks ago. Today it’s website is inaccessible and all social media removed. Like Elite and many other it offered lifestyle prizes through ticket sales. However this site was different in that it also tried to attract compers with other promotions. For example in October they were giving away a “£20k Ultimate Lockdown Christmas” in a photo voting competition. In hindsight this should have set off red flags and alarm bells because no site – ITV aside – offers that kind of prize these days? Anyway no one will be winning that competition.

Entry to that competition was free but some people did spend money on the site’s main raffles. Apparently refund requests had to be made by the 16th October and it seems from the posts that some people are getting their money back. A Facebook Group has been set-up for people who have been affected by the collapse of the site. Hopefully once all refunds have been made no one ends up out of pocket although it looks like that one lady who won a holiday to Disneyland won’t be going.

Lack Of Regulation

So one hand we have a good result for Elite Competitions and these kind of raffle sites! It demonstrates that there is an audience willing to participate in these kind of draws and spend money on tickets. We know that these kind of competitions aren’t for everyone but slowly but surely (and some may say sadly) they are becoming part of the comping and gambling landscapes. Our view is that they’re more in the latter and still need better user protection and the demise of OurComps fuels that debate.

We wonder whether they should be licensed and whether The UK Gambling Commission should implement similar controls as they have for slots and bingo. This would provide better protection for entrants especially with respect to problem gambling, affordability and making sure funds are returned when brands close. It would also help limit the number of raffle sites that are sprouting up too. As is anyone can launch a raffle site – and they’re easy enough to do – and start taking payments. That isn’t ideal.

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