Due to the impact Covid-19 is having on operations across the UK we have had to reduce our phoneline opening hours.

Our phonelines are open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 am and 4 pm.

The contact us service is also available for answers to common questions and we will aim to respond to these enquiries as quickly as possible.

If you have a question about your gambling, or the gambling of someone close to you, our FAQs from gambling consumers during lockdown may provide valuable information. Our what we do page also provides an overview of the types of queries we are able to help consumers with in the first instance.

The National Gambling Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through GamCare. It is there to support those suffering from gambling problems or those concerned about the affect gambling is having on people close to them. You can call them free on 0808 8020 133, or visit gamcare.org.uk.
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Spot the ball

Spot the ball may involve betting, gaming, a prize competition or a lottery, depending on how your scheme is structured.

Is your spot the ball scheme betting?

If you structure your spot the ball scheme so that participants are expected to guess, or judge, whether anything is true or not, it is likely to be betting. 

For example, if the aim is to choose which of a number of pre-selected positions corresponds to the actual position of the ball in the photograph, it is likely to be betting. In order to run this type of scheme you will need an appropriate betting operating licence.  

Is your spot the ball scheme a game of chance?

Your scheme could be a game of chance. If participants are required to take part or be successful in more than three processes before winning a prize you will require a casino licence.  

Is your spot the ball scheme a prize competition?

Your spot the ball scheme could be a prize competition, depending on how you arrange it. 

To be a genuine prize competition, rather than a lottery, there must be an element of skill, knowledge or judgment that is reasonably likely to prevent a significant proportion of people who wish to participate from doing so or prevent a significant proportion of people who participate from receiving a prize.  

For example, if a panel of judges determine the position of the ball and participants have to apply judgment, skill or knowledge to match their own decision of where the ball is with that of the panel, it is more likely to be a prize competition than a lottery.  

Genuine prize competitions are free from statutory control under the Gambling Act 2005 and therefore do not require a licence. 

Is your spot the ball scheme a lottery?

Lotteries can only be run for good causes and cannot be run for commercial or private gain. 

Your spot the ball scheme could be a lottery if it does not require a sufficient amount of skill and is down to luck. 

If you are running a spot the ball scheme that is open to the public as a lottery you will need either a lottery operating licence or to register with your local licensing authority. 

If you are organising a spot the ball scheme it is your responsibility to ensure you are compliant with the law. If in doubt, you should seek legal advice.

Also see

Running a lottery

A quick guide to running a lottery

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