A raffle that was set up to give people the chance to win a stunning Yorkshire home with a swimming pool valued at £500,000 has been shut down.
Entrants have been told that if they bought a £10 ticket to enter the prize draw to win the detached property in Grosmont, North Yorkshire, then they will have to login to their account to claim the refund.
In a statement posted on the raffle's website, owners of Ings Bank House Robert and Avril Smith say that the Gambling Commission has closed down the raffle as it is has been deemed a potential lottery and not a legal prize competition.
They go on to say that the Gambling Commission will not allow the couple to offer the house as a prize, or to offer a cash alternative.
The couple, who have lived in the house near the seaside town of Whitby for over 40 years, were looking to raffle it off after the death of their daughter Rachel three years ago.
The statement in full:
It is with sincere regret and upset that this competition has to close.
The Gambling Commission has deemed the competition a potential lottery and not a legal prize competition.
This is despite independent legal advice we obtained to the contrary. It is also after a period of over 4 months of silence from the Commission, despite being told of our competition on 30th July 2018. In their leaflet published 03/18 the Commission states that although they will not approve or help develop such competitions they will act IMMEDIATELY on any obvious concerns. They did not contact us immediately in spite of the fact that it is their role to monitor such competitions.
We understand the disappointment to you all and can only apologise sincerely as well as offer a full refund.
This eventuality is covered in clauses 5 & 6 of our terms and conditions.
We had hoped to be in a position to offer the house as the prize or, alternatively, cash prizes in accordance with our terms and conditions. The Commission will not let us do either.
As you will have seen my wife and I have been through a lot over the last three years and it was hoped that this would give us the break we need. Unfortunately, we are back to square one.
This property is open to offers to purchase.
To claim a refund for your ticket please visit www.wayh.co.uk/signin. You will be able to login to your account and there will now be a ‘Claim Refund’ button where money will be returned via bank transfer within 7-10 working days.
We wish you all a Happy Xmas and New Year.
All our regards,
Robert & Avril
The owners say that the house is still on the market and open to offers.