How to apply for a small society lottery and information on exempt lotteries
Under the Gambling Act 2005 a lottery is an arrangement where persons are required to pay in order to participate and the prizes are won in a process that relies wholly on chance.
Organisations who wish to run a lottery (for example, a raffle) will fall under one of 2 categories:
- A lottery that is run in accordance with an operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission
- An ‘exempt’ lottery
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 £4,000,000 (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.
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.
Exempt Lottery – Small Society Lottery
A small society lottery must be registered to us, it 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:
- a cultural activity
- 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 should include:
- name of the society
- the price of the ticket
- the name and address of the member of the society who is the promoter of the lottery
- either the date of the draw or enables the date of the draw to be determined
Part of the conditions are that tickets may not be sold by any person under the age of 16 years and within three months after the final draw, there are certain records that should be filed to us which can be completed by filling in the Lottery return form. The aspects that should be completed are:
- arrangements of the lottery
- amounts deducted as prizes
- amounts deducted as costs
- amounts supplied to society’s purposes
- any expenses defrayed by third parties
To register a small society lottery please complete the online application form and a disclosure of convictions form.
To apply for a small society lottery licence:
- The society must be within the authority area
- There is an initial registration fee of £40.00 and an annual fee of £20.00, which is invoiced 10 months after the application is first granted
Exempt Lottery – 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 £100 may 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
Exempt Lottery – Private Lotteries
There are three types of private lotteries that will be discussed in the following. To qualify for an exemption they must satisfy the following general conditions along with the conditions for each separate private lottery:
- There should be no rollover of the lottery
- 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)
- that the ticket is not transferrable
- The cost of each ticket must be the same
- Tickets must be paid for before draw takes 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 no advertising of the lottery except on the society’s premises.
A work lottery is a lottery where the only members of a particular ‘work premises’ are entitled to take part. The promoter and the people whom the tickets are sold to must all work at the ‘work premises’. No profits can be made from the lottery and advertising of the lottery can only be done on the work premises.
A residents' lottery is a lottery where only residents of a single set of premises, the ‘residential premises’, are entitled to take part. The promoter and the people whom the tickets are sold to must all live at the ‘residential premises’. No profits can be made from the lottery and advertising of the lottery can only be done on the ‘residential premises’.
Exempt Lottery – 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 (all) the promoter(s)
- The cost of the ticket
- Who can buy tickets (for example, the customer)
- 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