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Gambling and lotteries

We want to run a small society lottery

If a society wishes to run a small lottery, for example, a raffle or tombola for a non-commercial society, it may need to register it with us. Some small lotteries do not require registration with the Council. This is detailed in the Gambling Act 2005.

Once registered you do not need to register again, unless we cancel your registration due to non-payment of the annual fee or the society has advised us they wish to cancel they wished to cancel.

A non-commercial society must be run:

  • for charitable purposes
  • to help people take part in, or to support, sports or cultural activities e.g. theatre
  • for any non-commercial purposes other than those for private gain

A small society lottery must not have ticket sales worth:

  • more than £20,000 for a single draw
  • more than £250,000 in a calendar year

Lottery tickets can't be sold in public places such as Town Centres.

For more detailed information about the rules of small society lotteries, view our helpful information document on small society lotteries.

  1. How do I register and how much does it cost?

    Complete our application form to apply to register for a small society lottery. Please send a copy of the societies constitution or information on how the society is run and about its members with the application or it may delay acceptance of the registration

    Initial registration for the application costs £40.

    Annual renewal of the application costs £20.

    We don't send reminders for the annual fee and will cancel your registration if it is not paid on or before the anniversary of the grant of the registration.

  2. What happens after we apply?

    We will get in touch if we need any extra information from the society.

    A lottery returns form must be completed and sent to us within 3 months of the date of the lottery. This needs to show the total proceeds, the expenses and the cost of any prizes and how the net proceeds have been distributed.

    The return must be accompanied by a copy of the named persons that the society has specifically appointed in writing to deal with lottery returns.

  3. Are there any restrictions on what we can raise money for?

    Money can be raised for:

    • charity
    • enabling participation, or supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
    • any other non-commercial purpose other than private gain

    You cannot use the proceeds for any other purpose other than the purpose(s) declared on the application form.

  4. I’m raising money to take part in a marathon and want to sell raffle tickets, can I do this?

    If you are planning an event and you want to sell the tickets during the event, this is an incidental lottery. You do not need to be registered to do this, but must adhere to the requirements of an incidental lottery.

    You don’t need to do draw the prizes on the same day as the event, but you can only sell tickets during the event.

    If you are intending to sell the tickets over a period of time before the draw, then the society will need to be registered with us.

  5. How much can we sell lottery tickets for?

    There isn’t a fixed price, however, all tickets must cost the same.

  6. What information needs to be printed on the lottery tickets?

    All tickets must state the name of the promoting society, the price of the ticket, the date of draw and the name and address of the member of the society who is designated as having responsibility for promoting small lotteries.

  7. How do I pay the annual fee and is there a reminder?

    The quickest and easiest way is to submit our annual fee form.

    There is no reminder for the annual fee.

  8. When do I have to submit lottery returns and do you send reminders?

    You have to submit returns no later than 3 months after each draw has taken place.

    We do not send reminders. This is because we don’t know when you are holding draws.

  9. What do I do if my society hasn’t held a lottery during the previous 12 months?

    You can submit a “nil-return” or you can send an email to let us know that no lotteries have been held.

  10. I want to start a 100 club, what do I need to do?

    You will need to register the society with the Council.

    If people are allowed to join and leave throughout the year, each time there is a change to the members in the club, this will be a separate lottery. For example, if you establish a club and do the first draw in January and then in February and two more people join in February, you will need to submit a return for the draw in January and then a return for the lottery in February.

  11. Can I sell tickets for my registered lottery online?


    You must issue a ticket (physical document or an electronic document which can be kept or printed).

    Each ticket must contact the following information:

    a) The name of the society

    b) Price of the ticket

    c) states the name and an address of—

    (i) the promotor of the lottery

    (ii)if there is one, the external lottery manager, and


    (i)states the date of the draw (or each draw) in the lottery, or

    (ii)enables the date of the draw (or each draw) in the lottery to be determined.

    The method you use to determine the winner(s) must be transparent e.g. two members of the society present (where possible the members should be from separate households and not related).

    You may wish to consider holding the draw online (via skype, zoom or other video communication) (the Council does not accept any liability howsoever arisen or caused for use of any video communication software )

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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