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Small society lotteries

How to apply for a small society lottery

Lotteries

Organisations who wish to run a lottery (for example, a raffle) to raise money may apply for a small society lottery or, depending on the circumstances the lottery may not need a licence.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 a lottery is an arrangement where persons are required to pay in order to participate. And that prizes are won in process that relies wholly on chance.

Lottery operating licence

Issued by the Gambling Commission, a lottery operating licence allows a non-commercial society to promote the activities of the society. No private or commercial gain can be made from the lottery and the proceeds of a single lottery must not exceed £1,000,000 (or £10,000,000 in calendar year). There are also strict rules on the amount that a single ticket can win. 

Further information on a Lottery Operating Licence is available from the Gambling Commission.

Small society lottery

Issued by us, a small society lottery allows a non-commercial society to promote the activities of the society. The purpose of the society must be to enable the participation in, or supporting of:

  • sport
  • athletics
  • or of a cultural activity
  • or for any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain

The address of the society must be within West Norfolk. The proceeds of a single lottery must not exceed £20,000 (or £250,000 in calendar year). And at least 20% of the proceeds of the lottery must be applied to a purpose for which the society is established.  

All tickets must cost the same and:

  • must identify the society
  • state the price of the ticket
  • state the name and address of the member of the society who is the promoter of the lottery
  • either states the date of the draw or enables the date of the draw to be determined

Tickets may not be sold by any person under the age of 16 years or to any person under the age of 16 years. Our application forms are below:

Exempt lotteries

An exempt lottery is one that may be offered without a licence provided that certain conditions are met. The following are examples of exempt lotteries.

Incidental lotteries

An incidental lottery is one that is connected to an ‘event’ (for example, a village fete or dance) as an additional amusement and is subject to the following rules:

  • the lottery must be promoted wholly for a purpose other than private gain
  • tickets can only be sold at and during the event
  • no more than £500 may be deducted for prizes
  • no more than £100may be deducted for cost incurred in organising the lottery
  • no rollovers
  • the results of the lottery must be made public whilst the event is taking place

Private society lottery

A private society lottery is a lottery where tickets are only sold to a member of a particular society (for example, members of the same club). A private society lottery may only be promoted for any of the purposes for which the society (or club) is conducted and is subject to the following:

  • no advertising of the lottery except on the society’s premises
  • no rollover
  • each ticket must include:
    • the name & address of the promoter
    • who can buy tickets (i.e. members of the society or club); and
    • that the ticket is not transferrable.
  • the  cost of each ticket must be the same
  • the cost of the ticket must be shown on the ticket
  • tickets must be paid for before draw takes place

Work lottery

A work lottery is a lottery where the only members of a particular ‘work premises’ are entitled to take part and is subject to the following rules:

  • the promoter must also work at the premises
  • no profits can be made
  • no advertising of the lottery except on the work premises
  • No rollover;
  • each ticket must include:
    • the name & address of the promoter
    • the cost of the ticket
    • who can buy tickets (for example, members of the particular work premises); and
    • that the ticket is not transferrable
  • the cost of each ticket must be the same
  • tickets must be paid for before draw takes place

Residents’ lottery

A residents' lottery is a lottery where only residents of a single set of premises are entitled to take part and is subject to the following rules:

  • the promoter must also reside at the premises
  • no advertising of the lottery except on the residential premises
  • no rollover
  • each ticket must include:
    • the name & address of the promoter
    • the cost of the ticket
    • who can buy tickets for example, members of the residential premises); and
    • that the ticket is not transferrable
  • the cost of each ticket must be the same
  • tickets must be paid for before draw takes place

Customer lottery

A customer lottery is a lottery where customers of a commercial premises may buy a ticket. No profit can be made so a customer lottery is not suitable for fund-raising for charity. Other requirements are:

  • the promoter must be a person who occupies the business premises
  • no advertising of the lottery except on the business premises
  • no rollover
  • each ticket must include:
    • the name & address of the promoter
    • the cost of the ticket
    • who can buy tickets (for example, the customer); and
    • that the ticket is not transferrable
  • the cost of each ticket must be the same
  • tickets must be paid for before draw takes place
  • no more than £50 in prizes
  • no customer lottery may be held within 7-days of a previous lottery