A lottery is a game of chance in which tickets are sold which later may lead to the winning of a prize.
Lotteries may take the form of:
- 100 clubs
- prize draws.
A lottery must be conducted for charitable purposes, and never for personal gain.
In order to carry out a lottery, you will need to apply to the licensing team for a small society lottery registration, unless the lottery meets any of the exemptions below:
- customer lottery – this is when customers of a business pay to take part in a lottery, the lottery cannot be advertised anywhere outside of the business or sold to anyone who is not a customer of the business
- work lottery – only employees of a company can participate
- incidental lotteries – a lottery that is held at an event but is not the main feature of the event, the tickets must be sold and the prizes drawn on the same day, for example, a tombola at a school fair
- private society lottery – only members of the society can take part
- residential lottery – only people living in the premises can take part, for example, a care home.
A small society lottery must only be conducted for charitable purposes and never for personal gain.
Guidance on running a lottery (pdf 256kb)
A small society lottery cannot exceed £20,000 in ticket sales for each draw or £250,000 ticket sales within a calendar year.
If your lottery may exceed these limits you will need a lottery operating licence from the Gambling Commission.
The Gambling Commission website can provide information on applying for a lottery licence.
Gambling Commission (external website)