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Licensing authority lotteries

If you are a local authority you may run a lottery to raise funds to cover anything for which you have the power to incur expenditure, for example, local community projects, arts centres or parks and leisure facilities. 

All local authority lotteries must be licensed by the Gambling Commission.  

Local authority lotteries must give a minimum of 20% of the gross proceeds of each lottery to a purpose for which it has power to incur expenditure. 

Up to a maximum of 80% of the gross proceeds of each lottery may be divided between prizes and the expenses of the lottery. 

The maximum value of tickets that can be sold in a single lottery is £4 million. 

The maximum aggregate value of lottery tickets that can be sold in any calendar year is £10 million. 

The maximum prize in a single lottery is £25,000 or 10% of the proceeds (gross ticket sales), whichever is greater. 

Rollovers are permitted provided the maximum single prize limit is not breached. 

If your local authority runs a lottery you must appoint a person to have overall management responsibility for the promotion and proper management of the lottery and for compliance with the regulatory regime as a whole. That person should be a senior manager who holds the relevant delegated authority from the licensing authority. 

Depending on whether your lottery would be considered a small scale operator or not, that person will be required to hold either a Personal management licence (PML) or complete an Annex A, at the time the operating licence is applied for. Our licensing department will be able to advise you on which is required. 

Under the previous lottery legislation (the 1976 Lotteries and Amusements Act) a significant number of local authorities held registrations with the Gaming Board of Great Britain to promote lotteries to raise income. Until recently no local authorities had applied for or held lottery licences under the Gambling Act 2005. We have now issued lottery operating licences to the following local authorities:

  • Eastbourne Borough Council
  • Aylesbury Vale District Council
  • Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council 
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Melton Borough Council
  • Mendip District Council
  • Bournemouth Borough Council

If you require further information about any of these lotteries contact the relevant local authority directly. 

External lottery managers

You may employ an external lottery manager (ELM) to run all or part of your lottery. ELMs must be licensed by us. A full list of licensed ELMs is available on the register of licence holders

Information reporting requirements

You must submit information to us about each lottery you operate. Each lottery submission must detail:

  • total proceeds
  • amount applied directly to purposes for which you have power to incur expenditure
  • amount distributed between expenses and prizes (including any amount deducted for rollovers).

Promoting society and local authority lotteries

Advice for society and local authority lotteries which require a licence or registration

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