Small society lotteries

If you are planning on holding a raffle or prize draw where you have printed and sold tickets in advance you will need to register with us.

An incidental non-commercial lottery is where you sell and draw tickets. This uses cloakroom tickets and examples are during school fetes or a quiz night. Provided you draw the raffle on the same day it does not need a licence or registration.

Lottery information

Lottery help

If you are selling tickets and holding a draw that is a lottery.

Lotteries include:

  • raffles

  • tombola

  • lucky dips

  • 200 clubs (or 100 clubs)

  • open the box competitions

Lotteries cannot raise money for commercial purposes or private gain.

Promoting societies do:

  • not need to be registered charities

  • need to make sure that nobody is making a personal profit from the lottery

The below lottery types do not need licensing:

  • Incidental non-commercial lottery, commonly held during fetes and bazars - you must sell and draw the ticket at the event

  • Private lottery – there are 3 types, private society lottery, work lottery and residents’ lottery -  private society lottery tickets can only be sold to members of the society, work lottery tickets can only be sold on a single premises to people who work on the premises and residents’ lottery tickets can only be sold to people who live on the premises (these are normally organised in care homes and halls of residence)

  • Customer lottery – you can only buy tickets on the business premises - a single cash prize cannot exceed £50 (either cash or prize value) and there must be a period of at least 7 days between lotteries

We license small society lotteries, these:

  • do not have proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw

  • do not have aggregated proceeds more than £250,000 in a calendar year

If your lottery exceeds the above you will need to contact:

The Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B42 4BP
Telephone: 0121 230 6500
Email: info@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

For a licence you’ll need to pay a licence fee on application and we’ll send you an invoice each year to renew the licence.

Money raised from the lottery must go towards one of the purposes for which the society is conducted, for example sports clubs holding a lottery to get new equipment. If you want to promote a lottery to give money to charity then we recommend that you include charitable giving in the club or society constitution.

If you’re not sure if you are a small society contact us and we’ll give you advice.

Promoters of small society lotteries must make a return within 3 months of the draw.

VARIATIONS IN THE REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF SMALL LOTTERY

 

 

 

Incidental

Private Society

Work

Residents’

Customer

Small Society

Licence required by us

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Sell tickets to the general public

Yes, only at the event

No

No

No

Customers on premises

Yes

Advertising lottery allowed

Yes

On society premises only

On work premises only

On residents’ premises only

On premises only

Yes

Is a profit permitted (see note 1 below for the meaning of ‘profit’)

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Limit on prizes

£500 (see note 2)

None specified

None specified

Non specified

£50 (see note 3)

£25,000

(see note 3)

Limit on deduction from proceeds to cover expenses

£100

None specified

None specified

None specified

None specified

See note 4

Rollover permitted

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Lottery tickets required

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Name and address of promoter on ticket

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Who can buy tickets shown on ticket

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ticket must show that it is not transferable

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not required

Price of ticket must be shown on ticket

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Date of the draw to be shown on ticket

n/a

Not required

Not required

Not required

Not required

Yes

Return to licensing authority required

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

 

Note 1: A ‘profit’ is defined as the proceeds of the lottery minus amounts deducted for the provision of prizes, sums made available for a rollover (where permitted) and other costs reasonably incurred in organising the lottery.

Note 2:  £500 is the limit on deductions for prizes. No other limits are specified.

Note 3: This is the single prize limit for a prize that you can win by the sale of a single ticket. The sum applies to money or monetary value.

Note 4: Whilst none is specified, at least 20% of the money raised must go for the purpose for which the society is conducted.

Accordion end

A society is non-commercial if it is set up and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes

  • enabling participation in sport or a cultural activity, for example theatre

  • any non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain

A small society lottery:

  • does not have proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw

  • does not have aggregated proceeds more than £250,000 in a calendar year

We will bill you annually for the small society lottery unless you tell us that you no longer require the registration.

Apply

As part of your application you’ll need to include a supplementary application for every person connected to the promotion of the lottery.

Complete the supplementary form

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a debit or credit card for payment.

  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.

  3. Select licensing.

  4. Select apply for a licence.

  5. Select gambling act 2005.

  6. Select small society lotteries.

  7. Select application for registration of a non-commercial society.

  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.

There is a fee for this service.

Register for a small society lottery

Each year we will send you an annual invoice for the small society lottery unless you tell us you no longer wish to continue.

Submit a lottery return form

You must complete a lottery return within 3 months of the draw which shows how much:

  • money you raised

  • you used towards expenses

  • money the charity received

The return must be signed by 2 members of the society who are:

  • aged 18 or over

  • appointed for the purpose in writing by the society, (or by its’ governing body) and you must include a copy of the letter of appointment

You’ll need to download the lottery return form [doc] 150KB and then select the button below to email us a copy.

Submit a lottery return form

Refusal of registration

We can refuse an application for the following reasons:

  • an operating licence held by the applicant for registration was revoked or an application for an operating licence made by the applicant for registration was refused, within the past 5 years

  • we do not believe the society in question is non-commercial

  • a person who will or is related to the promotion of the lottery was convicted of a relevant offence

  • information provided in or with the application for registration is false or misleading

We will only refuse an application after the society has had the chance to make representations against the refusal. We will let you know how to do this.

Appeal

If we have refused your application then you have 21 days to lodge an appeal against the decision with the local magistrates court.