Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I hold a race night to raise funds for charity?


‘Race nights’ are permitted for charitable purposes. However, in some circumstances, they can only be undertaken by a licensed betting operator and after the premises owner has notified the local authority. You should read all of the information below before organising an event, including the three types of race nights.

A non-commercial race night is an event where participants stake money on the outcome of live, recorded or virtual races. The money raised from the event is called the proceeds.

Apart from reasonable costs, proceeds:

  • must not be used for private gain  
  • must all be given to a good cause (including any entrance fees, sponsorship, the difference between stakes placed and payout made).

Reasonable costs would include costs reasonably incurred, for example by providing any prizes and for betting slips.

If third parties are selling goods or services at your event, for example if someone is selling refreshments, this does not count as money raised for the charity or good cause and can be retained by that third party.

Types of race nights

Broadly there are three types of race nights:

Page last reviewed: April 2013

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