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Lottery licence

What is a society?

A society for the purposes of a lottery is one that is established and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes
  • the purpose of enabling participation, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity or
  • any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain

The proceeds of any lottery must be devoted to those purposes. It is not permissible to establish a society lottery whose sole purpose is to facilitate lotteries – it must have some other purpose.

What is a small lottery?

A small lottery is one where the total value of tickets to be put on sale per single lottery must not exceed £20,000 or the aggregate value of tickets to be put on sale for all a society’s lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000.

If the promoter aims to exceed either of these figures the lottery would be classed as ‘large’ and must be licensed by the Gambling Commission.

Small Society Lotteries must be registered with the Local Authority within whose area their principal office is situated.


What are the limits placed on Small Society Lotteries?

  • At least 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the lottery.
  • No single prize may be worth more than £25,000.
  • Rollovers between lotteries are permitted but only when every lottery affected is also a Small Society Lottery promoted by the same society and where the maximum single prize does not exceed £25,000 or 10% of the gross proceeds.
  • Every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the ticket fee must have been paid to the society before entry into the draw is allowed.

What must be done to comply with the Gambling Act?

  • Every Small Society Lottery must be registered with the relevant Local Authority. There is an initial registration fee of £40.00 and an annual fee of £20.00 to maintain your registration.
  • At least the minimum proportion of the proceeds must be channelled into the beneficial purpose of the society. To do otherwise is unlawful.
  • A Return must be made to the Local Authority with whom the lottery is registered.

Making An Application

Should you wish to apply please complete the application form and return it along with the form of certified members duly signed by all parties. The fee for a new application is £40.00.

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