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Societies running lotteries for other good causes

Lotteries can only be run to raise funds for good causes, they cannot be run for private or commercial gain.

Society lotteries are lotteries promoted by non-commercial societies.

Such societies are organisations that are established and conducted to raise funds to support the specific aims and objectives of the society, which could include any charitable, sporting, cultural or other non-commercial purpose.

They cannot be promoted for private or commercial purposes.  

Aims and objectives

Societies holding a lottery licence with the Commission or a registration with their local authority can also run lotteries to raise funds for other good causes provided that the aims and objectives allow them to do so.

If the society’s current aims and objectives do not allow for this then the society can amend them by widening the aims and objectives to include raising funds for the additional good causes. The society would then be required to notify us or the local authority (dependant on who they hold their licence/registration with) of the amendment to their aims and objectives.

Societies who decide to expand their aims and objectives in order promote lotteries for other good causes must ensure that their marketing, terms and conditions and  other information provided to consumers makes clear the name of the society promoting the lottery and its beneficiaries.

The promoting society must not imply that a beneficiary is promoting the society lottery. This provides transparency to consumers and allows them to understand who is promoting the lottery and the good cause that the society supports.

For societies that are registered charities or Community Interest Companies (CICs) they may need to check first that any potentially amended aims and objectives are compliant with relevant charity law or CIC requirements.

Incidental lottery

Alternatively, societies who would like to provide support to another good cause but do not wish to change their aims and objectives could decide to organise an ‘incidental lottery’ at an event such as a fundraising dinner or fete.

Workplace lottery

Or a society could organise a lottery within their workplace. This type of lottery is called a ‘work lottery’.

For more information regarding these types of lotteries see fundraising with lotteries or raffles at events and fundraising with the people you work with, live with or are in a club with.


Also see

Running a lottery

A quick guide to help you know the law on lotteries

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