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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


8 - Specific offences in relation to lotteries

34.25. The Act sets out a number of offences that apply to lotteries, as follows:

Section of the ActOffence
s. 258Promoting a non-exempt lottery without a licence
s. 259Facilitating a non-exempt lottery without a licence
s. 260Misusing the profits of a lottery
s. 261Misusing the profits of an exempt lottery
s. 262Purporting to operate a small society lottery when not registered, or failing to make the required, or making false or misleading, returns in respect of such lotteries
s. 326Without reasonable excuse, obstructing or failing to co-operate with an authorised person exercising his or her powers
s. 342Without reasonable excuse, giving false or misleading information to the Commission or a licensing authority

34.26. If a society running small lotteries fails to comply with any of the conditions of running such lotteries specified in Part 4 of Schedule 11 of the Act, it will be operating in an illegal manner, irrespective of whether it is registered with a licensing authority or not. In these circumstances, small society lottery operators may face prosecution by the Commission, a licensing authority, or the police. The lead organisation for initiating prosecutions will vary depending upon the specific circumstances of the case, but it is expected that licensing authorities will investigate offences in respect of small society lotteries. If necessary, licensing authorities can ask for advice from the Gambling Commission, but the Commission is unlikely to investigate a case unless it has national or regional significance.

34.27. Licensing authorities in Scotland should refer cases where there has been a breach of the Act to the police for investigation, in line with Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (opens in new tab) guidance on reporting practices for non-police agencies.

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Application and registration process for small society lotteries
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