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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 and request a permit called an Occasional Use Notice (OUN).  

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. 

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. 

Running a race night at an event 

Where the race night is not the only or main purpose of an event, it is possible to run it as an incidental lottery (lotteries at events). In this case there are no limits on the amount that players may be charged to participate, but no more than £500 may be deducted from the proceeds of the lottery for the cost of prizes and no more than £100 for other expenses. 

All lottery tickets must be sold at the location and during the event and the results of the lottery can be drawn either at the event or after it has finished. 

We recommended that you make it clear to players when the result will be announced. 

As an example, a horse might be picked at random for each player, and they are awarded a prize if their horse wins. 

Running a race night as non-commercial prize gaming 

The players must be told what good cause will benefit from the gaming. The prizes must be advertised in advance and must not depend on the number of people playing or the stakes raised. 

As an example, a horse might be picked at random for each player. The player whose horse wins is awarded the prize that was advertised in advance.   

You can also run a race night as non-commercial equal chance gaming

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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