This page gives you information about applying for a Small Society Lottery registration under the Gambling Act 2005. You will find details of:

  • the different types of lotteries registered under the Gambling Act 2005
  • how to establish if you require a registration
  • how to apply including application forms, application fees, and any additional supporting material that must accompany your application.

The Gambling Act 2005

All gambling activities (with the exemption of the National Lottery and spread betting) are regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. Gambling is defined in the Act as either gaming, betting or taking part in a lottery. The type of activities covered by the act includes:

  • Betting
  • Bingo
  • Casino gaming
  • Prize gaming
  • Use of gaming machines
  • Lotteries, raffles

As the Licensing Authority we are responsible for licensing premises where gambling takes place, and provide authorisations to gamble in premises where gambling is not the main activity (for example gaming machines in pubs). The Gambling Commission are responsible for licensing operators and individuals involved in providing gambling and betting facilities.

More information Gambling, Gaming and Lotteries.

About lotteries

A lottery is a kind of gambling where you have to pay to enter the game, there is always at least one prize; and prizes are allocated wholly by chance. Under the Gambling Act 2005 lotteries (also known as raffles) cannot be run for private or commercial gain. Lotteries can be used to collect money for a good cause such as a charity, to help a local club buy equipment, or a school to raise funds for educational needs.

Types of lotteries

Small society lottery

The society in question must be set up for non-commercial purposes e.g. sports, cultural or charitable. There is a top limit of £20,000 in ticket sales.At least 20% of proceeds must go to the good cause. Up to 80% of the monies raised can be used for prizes and expenses. A small society lottery requires a registration from your local authority.

Large society lotteries

Similar to the small society lottery, but ticket sales exceed £20,000.

Local authority lotteries

Run by the local authority, to help with any expenditure it normally incurs.

Large society lotteries and local authority lotteries are licensed by the Gambling Commission.

Incidental non-commercial lottery

A lottery held at non-commercial events, for example a school fete. All ticket sales and draws must take place during the event. An example of this type of lottery is a tombola. Such lotteries must adhere to the following rules:

  • All tickets must be sold at the location during the event and the result made public while the event takes place, you cannot sell tickets prior to the event.
  • The promoters of the lottery cannot deduct more than £100 from the proceeds in expenses incurred, such as for the cost of printing tickets, hire of equipment, etc.
  • No more than £500 can be spent on prizes (but other prizes may be donated) and the raffle cannot involve a rollover of prizes.

Private, work or residents' lottery

A lottery where tickets are confined to members of a club, society or institution etc. With this type of lottery, you cannot sell tickets to the public at large.

Customer lotteries

These can only be run by a business, at its own premises and for its own customers. No prize can be more than £50 in value. This type of lottery cannot make a profit.

These types of lotteries do not require any permission or registration. Further information about them can be found from the Gambling Commission.

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