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Lotteries and the Gambling Act 2005

Guidance on lotteries and the Gambling Act 2005 for local authorities

Common Problems

  • Facebook lotteries;
  • Sites offering draws that are not licensed because they have a free entry or skill route, but it does not meet the requirements for free draws or prize competitions;
  • House raffles;
  • Businesses offering lotteries that are above the limits to be a customer lottery, are offered online, or are designed to make a profit.

It is not necessarily illegal to offer a raffle or draw on Facebook or on a website without a licence. If the person offering the draw has met the requirements for a free raffle or a prize competition or holds a Small Society Lottery registration, then no licence from the Gambling Commission is required. If they have not, you should refer the lottery to the Gambling Commission by emailing the details to

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Lotteries and the GA05: When is a lottery not a lottery?
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