Skip Navigation

Do I need a licence?

Lotteries (also known as raffles, or draws) cannot be run for private or commercial gain.

If you want to run or promote a large society lottery or you are a local authority that wants to promote a lottery, there are two types of licence that you may need from the Gambling Commission:

You may also need a remote gambling licence if you intend to promote your lottery by means of remote electronic communication (internet, telephone etc).

Do I need an operating licence?

You do need a lottery operating licence if your lottery (raffle) sells over £20,000 of lottery tickets in a single draw or £250,000 of lottery tickets in a calendar year. Find out which type of operating licence you need, and how to apply.

There are some circumstances in which you do not need a lottery operating licence:

What personal management licences do I need?

Society lotteries

Unless you qualify for the small-scale operator exemption you will need at least one senior person to hold a personal management licence (PML), this will usually be the person with overall responsibility for the conduct of the lottery. In most cases the person will be a trustee or officer of the society, a director or partner where there is a partnership.

Local licensing authority lotteries

Local licensing authority lotteries need one PML, held by someone in a senior management post who holds the relevant delegated authority from the licensing authority.

External lottery managers

A society or local authority lottery may employ an External Lottery Manager (ELM) to make the arrangements for the lottery on their behalf. All ELMs must hold an ELM operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission.

ELMs are commercial companies that manage lotteries and provide services to society and local authority lotteries. ELMs may need to hold both a remote and non-remote licence if they are involved in promoting both type of lottery. More information can be found in: External lottery managers - advice note

Anyone at an ELM responsible for the following areas needs a PML unless they are eligible for the small scale operator:

  • Overall strategy and delivery of gambling operations.
  • Financial planning, control and budgeting.
  • Marketing and commercial development.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Gambling related IT provision and security.

Individuals who perform more than one of these management functions at the same time only need to hold one PML. Apply for a personal management licence.

Page last reviewed: December 2013