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Lottery licence

How to apply for lotteries, raffles or tombola licences

Licence summary

We issue licences for small society lotteries only. 
A small society is one that has £20,000 or less worth of tickets sold a year. This type of lottery is not required to be licensed by the Gambling Commission.

Definition of 'society'

The registration will be for the society, or any separate branch, on whose behalf a lottery is to be promoted. The society must be a non-commercial organisation. Section 19 of the 2005 Act defines a society as non-commercial if it is:

  • For charitable purposes (as defined by section 2 of the Charities Act 2006)
  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or cultural activity
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain

The society must have been established for one of the permitted purposes (as above) and the proceeds of any lottery must be devoted to those purposes. It is not legal to create a society whose only purpose is to run lotteries - it must have some other purpose.

Definition of 'lottery'

Under the Gambling Act 2005 there are two categories of lottery, simple and complex:

simple lottery is:

  • Persons are required to pay in order to participate in the lottery
  • In the course of the lottery one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a group, and
  • The prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance

A complex lottery is:

  • Persons are required to pay in order to participate in the lottery
  • In the course of the lottery one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a group 
  • The prizes are allocated by a series of processes, for example - a question, then entry into a prize draw and
  • The first of those processes relies wholly on chance

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