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Apply/renew a Small Society Lottery Registration

A lottery is where persons pay to participate in an arrangement to win one or more prizes. The prizes must be allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance. Examples are prize draws or Christmas Raffles where tickets are sold in advance of the date of the draw.

The legislation says that you cannot hold a lottery for private gain, however, it does in certain cases allow lotteries for charitable or non-commercial purposes.


Exempt lotteries

  • Incidental to a non commercial or commercial event - Raffles held for fund raising purposes where the tickets are both sold and drawn on the same day, either during or after the event, for example a summer fete or a motor show, can be held without any registration or licence
  • Private Society Lotteries - A private society or group can run a lottery for the benefit of that society provided the proceeds go to the purposes of the society and tickets are only sold to members and only on the premises of the society. No registration or licence is needed.
  • Customer Lotteries - Can only be run by a business at their own premises for customers. There can be no prize over £50 and no profit.
  • Work Lotteries - Can only be run and played by colleagues at a place of work. This type of lottery cannot make a profit.


Running a lottery

Small societies such as a school or a charity are able to operate lotteries, with tickets being sold in advance of the day of the draw, provided they hold a Small Society lottery Registration issued by their local authority. For an example raffle ticket please click here.


The society must be non-commercial. A society is defined as non-commercial if it is established and conducted:

  • For charitable purposes
  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain.


To be a small lottery the total value of tickets sold for a particular lottery must not exceed £20,000 and tickets sales for separate lotteries in one calendar year must not exceed £250,000. If you exceed these amounts you will be classed as a Large Lottery and will need a licence through the Gambling Commission.


Applying for a new small society lottery registration

A year after the grant of a small society lottery registration an annual fee must be paid, we will write to you before the due date. If the annual fee is not paid the registration will lapse.


Renewing a small society lottery registration

To renew a small society lottery registration you will need to do the following;

  • Renewal form - we will post this form to you, you will need to complete it and send it to
  • Pay the £20 annual fee - you can pay the fee here. We are not currently accepting cheques at this time.  



Once you have held the lottery/draw you will need to complete a Returns Form and submit it to


 Further Information


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