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Society lotteries

Lotteries (or raffles) can only be run for good causes. Society lotteries are promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society. 

A society is non-commercial if it is established and conducted:

  • for charitable purposes
  • for the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
  • for any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain. 

A large society lottery:

  • has proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw
  • has aggregate proceeds from lotteries in excess of £250,000 in any one year
  • requires a licence from the Gambling Commission

A small society lottery:

  • does not have proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw
  • does not have aggregate proceeds from lotteries in excess of £250,000 in any one year
  • does not require a Gambling Commission licence
  • must be registered with the local authority in the area where the principal office of the society is located. 

Details of registration requirements and procedures should be available from the licensing department of the relevant local authority. Application forms for registration to run a small society lottery can be obtained from your local licensing authority

Making changes to the draw date of society lotteries 

If you are a small society lottery registered with a local authority you need to contact your local authority in case they have specific terms and conditions you must adhere to. If you are large society lottery you need to notify us of the new draw date in writing email: licensing@gamblingcommission.gov.uk 

If you put back the date of the draw, it will need to take place as soon as practically possible. 

You must make every attempt to notify those who have purchased tickets in the lottery/raffle of the change to the draw date. The notification may be through a number of channels including email, a telephone/text message, your website, a newsletter and your local newspaper.

Also see

Promoting society and local authority lotteries

Advice on promoting society and local authority lotteries

217 KB Download

Lottery products and particular appeal to children

Advice on use of imagery on lottery scratchcards

206 KB Download