Small society lottery registration

Under the Gambling Act 2005 small societies wishing to promote lotteries must register with the local authority as a small society lottery.

The society itself must be ‘non-commercial’. This information will be useful to anyone thinking of promoting lotteries such as raffles, tombolas and prize draws for example.
A lottery is an arrangement which satisfies statutory descriptions of either a simple or a complex lottery.

An arrangement is a simple lottery if -

  • persons are required to pay to participate
  • one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class
  • the prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance 

An arrangement is a complex lottery if -

  • persons are required to pay to participate 
  • one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class
  • the prizes are allocated by a series of processes 
  • the first of those processes relies wholly on chance 

The total value of tickets on sale per single lottery must be:

(a) £20,000 or less, or

(b) tickets for all the lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000 in total value in a calendar year.

Applications to register as a small society lottery should be made to the authority whose area covers the society’s registered office.

Non-commercial Society Lottery Registration
Download (169KB)

For further requirements see the guidance booklet accessible via the Gambling Commission Website.

If the society is commercial and/or likely to raise in excess of the limits above, then the organisation is classed as a large lottery and will require a lottery operating licence from the Gambling Commission.

Exempt lotteries

Incidental non-commercial lotteries – exempt from registration if -

  • no proceeds from the event will be used for the purposes of private gain
  • the lottery is promoted wholly for a purpose other than that of private gain (for example, for a charitable purpose/good cause)
  • the promoters of the lottery will not be deducting more than £500 from the proceeds in respect of the cost of prizes 
  • the promoters of the lottery will not be deducting more than £100 from the proceeds in respect of the cost of other expenses, such as the cost of printing tickets or hire of equipment
  • there will be no lottery rollover
  • tickets will only be sold during the event and on the premises where the event is being held
  • the results will be made public while the event is taking place

An example of an incidental non-commercial lottery may include a lottery held at a school fete, or at a social event such as a dinner dance.

 Private society lotteries – exempt from registration if:

  • the lottery will only be promoted by authorised members of a society
  • tickets will only be sold to either society members and on the society premises
  • the group or society is established and conducted for purposes other than gambling
  • the lottery will be promoted for the purposes for which the society is conducted
  • the lottery will only be advertised on the society’s premises
  • tickets will comply with certain provisions common also to work and resident’s lotteries including that they are each of the same price and are non-transferable
  • there will be no rollover

An example of private society lottery may be one that is limited to members of a working men’s club or a sports club, where guests at the club would not be permitted to participate.

Work lotteries – exempt from registration if:

  • the promoters all work on a single set of work premises
  • the tickets are only sold to persons who work on those premises
  • the lottery will be organised to ensure that no profits are made
  • the lottery will only be advertised on the work premises
  • tickets will comply with certain provisions common also to private and resident’s lotteries including that they are each of the same price and are non-transferable
  • there will be no rollover

An example of a work lottery could be a sweepstake on the Grand National amongst work colleagues.


Residents’ lotteries – exempt from registration if:

  • the promoters live in a single set of residential premises
  • the tickets will only be sold to those who live in the residential premises
  • the lottery will only be advertised on the residential premises
  • tickets will comply with certain provisions common also to private and work lotteries including that they are each of the same price and are non-transferable.
  • there will be no rollover

An example of a residents’ lottery may be one that is held in student halls of residence for students only. 

Customer lotteries – exempt from registration if:

  • the lottery is promoted by a person who occupies the business premises
  • the tickets are only sold by or on behalf of the promoter and only to customers when they are on the business premises
  • the lottery will be organised to ensure that no profits are made
  • the lottery will only advertised on the business premises
  • all tickets will be of the same price and are non-transferable
  • the prizes will not be worth more than £50
  • there will be no rollover
  • the draw will not take place within 7 days of a previous draw in the lottery or another customer lottery promoted on the business premises

An example of a customer lottery may be one held by a local butcher selling or supplying tickets on their own premises to customers only, with an opportunity to win a joint of meat.

For free draws and prize competitions contact the Gambling Commission for advice.

Small society registration is with the local authority and takes 14 days from receipt of an application.

Registration fee (for 12 months registration) is £40.00; annual fee £20.00.

 

 

 

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Last updated: 03 December 2018 12:17:41