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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 intent 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 the  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