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Fundraising with race nights

You can run a race night to raise money for charity. There are several different ways you can run your race night.

Race nights at a sports venue using a licensed bookmaker

If your event is at a sports venue, for example a racetrack, you can get a licensed betting operator to run your event. This will require the premises owner to notify your local licensing authority by serving an Occasional Use Notice (OUN). 

Because the betting is for non-commercial means, it does not matter whether or not the sporting event on which the bets are taken is held at that venue. Also, the sporting event on which the bets are taken does not need to be taking place at the same time as the betting under the OUN. However, all proceeds (including the difference between stakes placed and pay-out made) must be given to a good cause and can’t be taken for private gain by the licensed operator.

An OUN must be sent in writing to the relevant local authority in advance of the event and be copied to the chief officer of police for the area in which the venue is located (or, in Scotland, the chief constable of the police force for the area). OUNs may not be used for more than eight days in a calendar year in respect of any one venue.

The person administering the betting under an OUN must have a Gambling Commission operating licence (that is, must be a licensed bookmaker).

For further information about betting under an OUN see section 39 of the Gambling Act 2005.

Also see

Can I hold a race night, casino night or poker night

A quick guide to running a race, bingo, casino or poker night

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