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Lotteries and the Gambling Act 2005

Guidance on lotteries and the Gambling Act 2005 for local authorities

When is a lottery not a lottery?

A draw is not a lottery if:

It is a free draw. In a free draw, a free entry route is offered either in its entirety, or in addition to a paid route. However, there are conditions about offering a free entry route. These are:

  • There must be an option to enter either by post (first or second class only, not by recorded or special delivery) OR some other method such as telephone, text or email. Where a method other than post is used, it can only be charged at the usual rate. This means premium rate cannot be used for example for telephone calls. It must require no additional payment over what it would usually cost and it can be no more expensive or less convenient than using the paid route;
  • the free entry route must be advertised with equal prominence to the paid route;
  • if some other method is offered for the free entry route (e.g. telephone), it cannot be more expensive or less convenient than entering by the paid route (this method must be charged at the ‘normal rate’ and there can be no additional payment over what it would normally cost to use that method of communication)
  • the system for allocating prizes must not distinguish between those using the paid or the free route.

It is a prize competition. A prize competition is where an element of skill is required for persons to be able to participate. However, for the skill test to apply, a significant proportion of people should be unable to enter because they did not have sufficient skill or knowledge to meet the challenge of entering.

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Lotteries and the GA05: Types of lottery that do not require a registration or licence (exempt lotteries)
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Lotteries and the GA05: Common Problems
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