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Lottery ticket vending machines

Lottery ticket vending machines usually dispense a scratchcard or pull-tab lottery ticket following the insertion of the cost of the ticket into the machine.

The machines only dispense a pre-determined ticket - there must be no element of skill or game play required by the purchaser and the machine must not determine the outcome of the lottery or display the result within an interval of less than one hour if it is to avoid being classed as a gaming machine and subject to the requirements for gaming machines.

The difference between lottery ticket vending machines and B3A gaming machines 

Lottery ticket vending machines should not be confused with B3A gaming machines that offer lottery style games but are classed as gaming machines and subject to separate and specific requirements under the Act.

See our advice note Comparing lottery ticket dispensers and category B3A gaming machines quick guide, which provides further advice on the difference between lottery ticket vending machines and B3A gaming machines. 

Manufacture or supply of lottery ticket vending machines 

No specific permission is required to manufacture or supply lottery ticket vending machines but those who supply them can only supply the machine to a licensed or registered society lottery, External Lottery Manager (ELM) or the promoter of a private lottery.

The suppliers of such machines must be careful to ensure that the services they offer do not constitute ‘promoting a lottery’ (see section 252 of the Gambling Act 2005). If the machine supplier is promoting a lottery they will need to be licensed by the Gambling Commission as an External Lottery Manager. 

How can lottery ticket vending machines be used? 

Lottery ticket vending machines can only be used to dispense society lottery tickets (Gambling Commission licensed and local authority registered) and tickets in private lotteries such as private society lotteries in private members clubs. 

Lottery ticket vending machines are subject to the same restrictions and requirements as any lottery, dependent of course, on what type of lottery is being promoted and therefore dispensed from the machine(s).

So if a lottery ticket vending machine is dispensing a local authority registered society lottery, or a Gambling Commission licensed society lottery or a private lottery (eg private society lottery), it will be the relevant regulatory requirements that apply and any restrictions those lotteries place on where and how tickets can be sold. 

For Gambling Commission licensed society lotteries 

Licensed society lotteries can sell tickets anywhere apart from on a street (eg any bridge, road, lane, footway), which means they can be sold via lottery ticket vending machines.

If lottery ticket vending machines are being used to dispense and sell licensed society lottery tickets the society and ELM (if one is used) maintain overall responsibility for the lottery. They must ensure the lottery adheres to the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) attached to the society/ELM licence which includes having the required age verification, self-exclusion, problem gambling and social responsibility policies and procedures in place as well as adherence to any other relevant regulations.  

It is also the responsibility of the society/ELM to ensure that lottery ticket vending machines are sited in a place either with supervision or oversight so that only those 16 or over can play and the machines have adequate age signage.

Lottery tickets being dispensed must meet the relevant ticket requirements set out in the LCCP.

For local authority registered society lotteries

Local authority registered society lotteries can also sell lottery tickets via lottery ticket vending machines. If the lottery ticket vending machine is selling tickets on behalf of an LA registered society they must adhere to Schedule 11, Part 4 of the Gambling Act 2005

If lottery ticket vending machines are being used to dispense local authority registered society lottery tickets the society maintains overall responsibility for the lottery which includes ensuring it adheres to all the relevant legislative requirements attached to an LA registered society lottery registration and any other relevant regulations.  

It is also the responsibility of the society to ensure that lottery ticket vending machines are sited in a place either with supervision or oversight so that only those 16 or over can play and the machines have adequate age signage.

Lottery tickets being dispensed must meet the relevant ticket requirements set out in Schedule 11, Part 4 of the Gambling Act 2005.

Location of lottery ticket vending machines  

Lottery ticket vending machines that are selling Gambling Commission licensed or local authority registered society lottery tickets can be sited in a number of places, such as: 

Public houses

Alcohol-licensed premises such as pubs can site lottery ticket vending machines but they must be sited on behalf of, or by, a licensed or registered society lottery and must adhere to the relevant sections of the Act, LCCP and social responsibility measures (eg age verification) as set out above. 

It is important to remember that the pub is acting as a retailer and the society remains responsible for the lottery. The society must ensure the publican has received the required age verification, self-exclusion, problem gambling and social responsibility training before siting the machines. It is also imperative that there are policies and procedures in place which have been agreed between the society and publican for cash handling and the reconciliation and banking of ticket sales.

Retailers (shops)

Shops can also site lottery ticket vending machines but they must also be on behalf of, or by, a licensed or registered society lottery and again it must adhere to the relevant sections of the Act, LCCP and social responsibility measures (eg age verification) as set out above.

The shop is acting as a retailer and the society remains responsible for the lottery. The society must ensure the retailer has received the required age verification, self-exclusion, problem gambling and social responsibility training before siting the machines. It is also imperative that there are policies and procedures in place which have been agreed between the society and retailer for cash handling and the reconciliation and banking of ticket sales. 

Gambling-licensed premises

Society lottery tickets can be sold on gambling licensed premises (in England and Wales and Scotland) via lottery ticket vending machines but again they must be sited on behalf of, or by, a licensed or registered society lottery and it must adhere to the relevant sections of the Act, LCCP and social responsibility measures (eg age verification) as set out above. 

Mandatory and default conditions for England and Wales prohibit the sale of tickets in a private lottery or customer lottery on any gambling licensed premises. Conditions on gambling licensed premises in Scotland allow for the sale of tickets in customer lotteries on any gambling licensed premises but not private lotteries. 

The gambling licensed premises is acting as a retailer and the society remains responsible for the lottery. The society must ensure the premises owner and employees have received the required age verification, self-exclusion, problem gambling and social responsibility training before siting the machines. It is also imperative that there are policies and procedures in place which have been agreed between the society and premises for cash handling and the reconciliation and banking of ticket sales. 

Other places lottery ticket vending machines can be used 

Lottery ticket vending machines can also be used to dispense tickets in private lotteries such as private society lotteries.  

Private members clubs

Lottery ticket vending machines can be sited and used in private members’ clubs in two ways. 

Firstly the lottery ticket vending machine can be operated as a private society lottery and the lottery in question would need to adhere to Part 2 of Schedule 11 of the Gambling Act 2005. In this scenario the club would not need a licence from the Gambling Commission or the local authority to site the machine or operate the lottery, neither does the machine supplier need a licence. The ticket requirements for a private society lottery are set out at Part 2 of Schedule 11 of the Gambling Act 2005. No age restrictions apply to this type of lottery. 

Private societies are permitted to run private society lotteries to raise proceeds for the purposes for which the society is conducted, or to raise funds to support another charity or good cause. 

The second way a lottery ticket vending machine can be operated in a private member’s club is by dispensing Gambling Commission licensed or local authority registered society lottery tickets. There are specific regulatory requirements which must be adhered to when selling society lottery tickets (see above).

In this scenario no specific permission is required to manufacture or supply lottery ticket vending machines but those who supply them can only supply the machine to a society lottery or External Lottery Manager (ELM).

Suppliers must be careful to ensure that the services they offer do not constitute ‘promoting a lottery’ (see section 252 of the Gambling Act 2005). If the machine supplier is promoting a lottery they will need to be licensed by the Gambling Commission as an External Lottery Manager. 

More information 

We have a suite of advice notes on the different types of lotteries that can be conducted and the specific requirements/restrictions that apply.

See Promoting society and local authority lotteries for regulations applicable to Gambling Commission licensed/local authority registered society lotteries and Organising small lotteries for the regulations applicable to private lotteries.