The latest Raffall win a house competition to close has failed to create a new property winner. Win an Aylesbury Apartment hosted by Wendy Grace (also known as Prize Home Bucks on Facebook) closed it’s doors to entries on 3rd April 2021 having sold 57,000 of the required 90,000 target. If the ticket target isn’t reach then a cash prize alternative is paid out and in this case that is around £107,000. However in a quirk of fate the winner of this competition is a Lucy Keoghan.
Dream House Ireland
For many people the name Lucy Keoghan might not mean anything but in property raffle circles she’s known. This is because she was the promoter of Dream House Ireland, a raffle that also ran on the Raffall platform and managed to create a property winner. Fate was obviously smiling on the Keoghan’s and from what we understand from social media posts they had purchased 13 tickets for the draw. Congratulations to them on winning the amazing cash prize. We wish them all the best!
New Raffle Sites
Whilst some former win a house promoters get lucky entering other raffles other promoters take a different approach. For example, The Reids who successfully completed Oak House Raffle have decided to use their experiences and enter the ever increasing raffle site market. They have now launched their own site called Oak Competitions. Entrants can purchase tickets from £2.99 to £19.99 for various items such as hot tubs, toolkits and a Rolex watch. Meanwhile the owners of Forest Side Home will be joining them on a similar journey as their site Raffique will launch very soon. Whether either will be successful remains to be seen as there are far too many of these sites but both have ready made audiences from raffling their properties which should help.
Raffling On Raffalls
Many former promoters end their raffling journey after one competition, but not the Rowcrofts from Prize Home Manchester. They were the second successful house prize raffle on Raffall and recently folllowed that up with a Dream Holiday competition. For £5 you could win a £5000 holiday voucher and £3000 cash plus there were a number of runners up prizes. The Rowcrofts, like The Reids above, are aiming to move Down Under and raffles have been a way to sell property and raise funds. The main winner of this particular raffle was Mike McCartan and this has caused some degree of controversy. This is because Mike is the husband of Gemma McCartan, someone who we understand assisted with the social media aspect of their competition.
This result has got some people on social media questioning the Raffall platform about eligibility and transparency. And that’s quite understandable. We’ve seen free prize draws award prizes to associates and these have been vehemently questioned by compers who like fair play. However Raffall terms do state that “members of the immediate families or households of a Host may not enter a competition hosted by that Host” but there’s nothing to say that associates of the Host and/or their families may not enter. It’s something we do think needs to be considered by the platform. Having observed raffles and house competitions over the last few years transparency is key and the slightest concern can quickly create doubt and suspicion that all is not above board.
The Bolton House
Transparency issues have also been raised with respect to the Win A Bolton House & Ferrari. Some entrants have been questioning how the draw was conducted. So much so a Facebook group of over 1000 now exists which is asking questions about whether raffles are a scam. Our view on this particular competition is that it’s been badly handled by the promoter. The live was a bit of a mess and it’s not a surprise that questions have been raised. Furthermore we are surprised by the lack of media interest in the winner, Donovan Blake. Usually when property competitions are successful this results in plenty of media reports especially in publications which carried the initial competition story. According to reports the winner doesn’t want publicity and that’s fine but no reports on the house being won is a little odd.
Many of the problems stemming from The Bolton House could have been avoided. In our view the promoters shouldn’t be running lives on Facebook to show the draw/result via Raffall. Firstly they’re usually inexperienced and this can lead to confusions. We’d also suggest that some of the live result videos we’ve seen have also been very unprofessional in their approach. In our view Raffall should be hosting live draws with a third party, such as PromoVeritas, on hand to ensure fairness. Raffall take a big enough cut from these competitions (between 10% and 25%) that they can afford to provide a better platform for showing how winners are selected. For a small prize that may not be neccessary but when people are looking to win a house or substantial amounts of money there should be no elements of doubt or confusion that the result has been generated above board.
Regulation Is Required
And this isn’t the only issue we have raffle sites. Raffle sites and house competitions fall under a grey umbrella when it comes to The UK Gambling Commission. In many ways The UKGC have washed their hands of them yet large amounts of money are changing hands across sites with no regulations or responsible gambling tools. For example there are no limits to the number of tickets you can buy at Raffall for a particular competition. There are no tools for restricting deposits, how much someone can play and options for self-exclusion. The last couple of weeks we’ve been updating content on bingo – especially responsible gambling. Someone wagering £10 a week on bingo would have access to all these responsible gambling tools so why not people spending much much more on raffles? It seems absurd and The UKGC need to get on to this asap.
Is It A Scam?
House competitions and raffles will always have the “is it a scam” question over their heads. Unfortunately one too many house raffles have raised issues (e.g. Win A Mega Home and Draw A House) whilst raffle sites just keep mushrooming up everywhere and think a few trustpilot reviews scream “look we’re honest”. However the sector could improve it’s reputation by embracing better customer care, tools for responsible gambling, clearer rules, and huge improvements on transparency when it comes to winner selection. The problem is that it will probably take a real scam to be unearthed and many people to lose lots of money – for example as in the case of Football Index – for The UKGC to take any kind of forward step.