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Lotteries - More Information

Categories of Lottery Provided for by the Act

The Act contains two categories of lottery - licensed lotteries and exempt lotteries.

Licensed Lotteries.  

These are generally lotteries run by large societies where the proceeds of a single lottery may exceed £20,000 or the total proceeds in any one year are likely to exceed £250,000.  These lotteries are regulated by the Gambling Commission and require an Operating Licence.

Exempt Lotteries.  

An exempt lottery is one which does not require a licence from the Gambling Commission.  There are three types of exempt lottery:

Small Society Lottery.  

This is a lottery run by a non-commercial society i.e. a society established and conducted for charitable purposes, or for the promotion of a sporting, athletic or cultural activity or for any non-commercial purpose other than private gain.  These lotteries must be registered with the local authority.

Incidental Non-Commercial Lottery. 

This is a small lottery which is incidental to a non-commercial event such as a raffle at a school fete or bazaar.  Tickets may only be sold at the premises during the event and the result  must be announced while the event takes place.  A maximum of  £500 may be deducted from proceeds for prizes and no more than £100 may be spent on other costs such as the printing of tickets.  'Rollovers' are not permitted for this type of lottery.

Private Lottery.   There are four sub-groups of private lottery recognised by the Act:    

  • Private Society Lottery.  These can only be promoted by authorised members of a recognised   society and tickets can only be sold to members of that same society or on the society's premises.  The lottery may only be promoted for the purpose for which the society is conducted.  Examples of this type of lottery might include lotteries held by a political club or a sports club.
  • Work Lottery.  The promoter of the lottery must work on the premises and tickets may only be sold to other people who work on the same premises (e.g. an office sweepstake).  The lottery must not be run for profit or private gain.
  • Residents' Lottery.  The promoter must reside on the premises and tickets may only be sold to persons residing at the premises. The lottery must not be run for profit or private gain.
  • Customer Lottery.This is a lottery run by the occupier of a business premises who sells tickets solely to customers on the premises.  The lottery may only be advertised on the premises on which it is held and no prize must exceed £50.00 in value.  A customer lottery must not take place within 7 days of another customer lottery held on the same premises.

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