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Lottery submissions guidance

Guidance for information collected in the Lottery Submissions service.

Published: 31 January 2022

Last updated: 1 February 2022

This version was printed or saved on: 5 October 2022

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/guidance/lottery-submissions-guidance

Overview and feedback

If you misrepresent or fail to reveal information that you are asked to provide, unless you have a reasonable excuse, you will have committed an offence under section 342 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). Anyone who provides information of a false or misleading nature risks prosecution.

Operators of non-commercial society lotteries and local authority lotteries must submit information to us about each lottery they have conducted.

These guidance notes explain what details are to be submitted to us and when.

We use the data provided to:

The requirement to provide a regulatory return is contained within Licence condition 11.1.1 of our Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

These reporting requirements apply to all holders of lottery operating and external lottery manager licences issued to non-commercial societies or local authorities.

Feedback

We are seeking feedback on these questions. Get in touch with us via our online contact form.

Common terms and definitions

Return to Good Cause
Return to good cause is the amount of proceeds (ticket sales) applied directly to the purposes of the society or in the case of a local authority, to a purpose for which the authority has the power to incur expenditure.
The first requirement of any lottery conducted in reliance of a lottery operating licence is that at least 20% of the total ticket sales must be passed on to the purposes of the society or local authority, which the lottery is promoting. A return of less than 20% of the proceeds to the purposes of the society or local authority is an offence. [GA2005, s99(2)]. For the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005, return to good cause is referred to as ‘profits’. ‘Profits’ are the amount of proceeds less any deductions for prizes, rollovers, and reasonable expenses incurred in connection with running the lottery [GA2005, s254].
Branded lottery
A branded lottery is when multiple society lotteries are promoted under a common brand or image, either in rotation with other societies or as a regular occurrence for that single society. A lottery is a branded lottery if it is run as part of a lottery scheme that other societies also participate in and promote their lottery under the same overall brand name. A branded lottery is not the name of your campaign or scheme. If you run a fundraising campaign or lottery every year at certain times (e.g. Spring Raffle 2022), this is not a branded lottery. If your society runs a lottery that benefits lots of other good causes (so each good cause the society supports receives a proportion of the proceeds), this is not a branded lottery; it is a single society promoting lotteries for the benefit of multiple beneficiaries.
Draw
A draw, in relation to a lottery, is any process by which a prize in the lottery is allocated. [GA2005, s255].
Expenses
Expenses in a lottery submission refers to the value of costs ‘reasonably incurred’ in organising the lottery, directly related to the operation of the lottery, and paid out of the lottery’s proceeds (ticket sales). Expenses funded by other sources of income (not lottery proceeds) must not be recorded in lottery submissions.
External lottery manager (ELM)
An External Lottery Manager (ELM) is a person that makes arrangements for a lottery on behalf of a society or local authority of which he is not (a) a member, (b) an officer, or (c) employee under a contract of employment. [GA2005, s257].
Largest prize awarded
Largest prize awarded is the highest single value prize won by virtue of a lottery ticket (whether in money, money's worth, or partly the one and partly the other and including any winnings arising from a rollover). Note that it is a legal requirement that a single prize in a lottery must be less than or equal to £25,000, or if more, the prize must not exceed 10% of total proceeds. [GA2005, s99(4)]. This applies to donated prizes, or prizes whereby the cost has been met from external sources or from the society’s non-lottery funds.
Lottery
A lottery is an arrangement where (a) persons are required to pay in order to participate in the arrangement, (b) in the course of the arrangement one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class, and (c) the prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance. This is known as a simple lottery. There are also complex lotteries. In a complex lottery, the arrangement is the same as a simple lottery except that the prizes are allocated by a series of processes, and the first of those processes relies wholly on chance. [GA2005, s14].
Lottery date
Lottery date, for raffle style and subscription lottery products, refers to the date of the lottery draw. For scratchcards (including online instant win games) and vending machine lottery products, the lottery date is the last day on which tickets in the lottery were on sale or the expiry date of the tickets.
Lottery submission
Lottery submission is the name of a report licensed lottery operators must make to the Gambling Commission. They provide data about lottery draws. A lottery submission must be made for each lottery that is promoted under a Gambling Commission lottery operating licence issued to a society lottery or local authority.
Lottery type
Lottery types for the purpose of lottery submissions are raffle style, scratchcard, subscription, vending machine.
Next lottery
Next lottery refers to the known/planned date of the first lottery to take place after the one that the current lottery submission is for. This is the date of the next lottery promoted in reliance of a lottery operating licence issued, to a society lottery or local authority, by the Gambling Commission.
Non-remote
Non-remote in relation to gambling means gambling that is not carried out via remote communication. For the purposes of lotteries, this means lottery products that are not sold via remote means. Note this is not about how the lotteries were promoted (e.g. with internet advertising) but how payment is taken. Non-remote includes the sale of lottery tickets by post. For example, by posting direct debit mandates to the operator, cheques or cash. Or face-to-face, for example in a charity shop, door to door or at events. Non-remote does not include payments taken by the internet, telephone, television, radio or using any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating remote communication.
Prizes
Prizes refers to the value of prizes paid out from proceeds (ticket sales) for those tickets that won the lottery draw. This includes prizes of money, money's worth, or partly the one and partly the other. For the purposes of lottery submissions, this excludes prizes allocated to or paid out for a rollover.
Prizes from rollover
Prizes from rollover refers to the total cumulative value of prizes paid out for a rollover from a previous lottery or lotteries.
Proceeds
Lottery proceeds (also referred to as ticket sales) are the total amount paid for tickets in a single lottery before any money is deducted for expenses, prizes, or return to good cause. For the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005, proceeds of a lottery are the aggregate of amounts paid in respect of the purchase of lottery tickets. [GA2005, s254].
Raffle style
Raffle style is a one-off lottery where participants pay to enter that one lottery draw. Examples might include a Christmas or Summer draw or an annual bumper draw. For the purposes of lottery submissions, the term excludes lottery products sold by subscription.
Remote
Remote in relation to gambling means gambling in which persons participate by the use of remote communication. This includes using the internet, telephone, television, radio, or any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication. [GA2005, s4] For the purposes of lotteries, this means lottery products that are sold by any of these means. For example, if payment details are communicated by email, text message or verbally by telephone, this is participation by remote means and the proceeds must be recorded as remote. The definition of remote gambling does not include the sale and delivery of lottery tickets by post or if a participant submits direct debit details for electronic payments by post or face-to-face.
Rollover
A rollover in relation to a lottery means an arrangement whereby the fact that a prize is not allocated or claimed in one lottery increases the value of prizes available for allocation in another lottery. [GA2005, s256].
Scratchcard
Scratchcard is a lottery in which every draw takes place either before, or at the point of, purchase of tickets by participants in the lottery. It is a type of instant win lottery product in which customers buy, or are provided with, a card with different numbers or symbols. Cards can be either physical or virtual (online or in an app). Typically, physical scratchcards will have numbers on the card hidden by a thin layer of coating, which must be scratched off to reveal the numbers. These outcomes are predetermined to win prizes. For the purposes of lottery submissions, the term scratchcard includes physical scratchcards and instant win games sold by remote means, which can be determined by a random number generator. It excludes scratchcards sold by vending machines.
Society
Society refers to a non-commercial organisation [as defined by GA2005, s19], or local authority that promotes a lottery under a non-remote society lottery operating licence or remote (full or ancillary) society lottery licence granted by the Gambling Commission. It excludes external lottery managers, incidental lotteries, customer lotteries, and (for the purposes of lottery submissions), private lotteries and small society lotteries.
Statement of confirmation
A statement made by one of the following confirming the accuracy of a lottery submission: the holder of a personal licence issued under part 6 of the Act; a qualified person as defined in the Gambling Act 2005 (Definition of small-scale operator) Regulations 2006; or except where the licensee is a local authority, the designated person named on the lottery tickets as having responsibility for the promotion of the lottery.
Subscription
Subscription is a series of lotteries (other than instant lotteries) promoted on behalf of the same non-commercial society or local authority in respect of which participants pay for participation in one or more future lotteries by regular subscription over a fixed or indefinite period.
Ticket
A ticket refers to a document that must be provided to a person on receipt of payment for entry into a lottery draw. For the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005, a lottery ticket is a document or article that confers, or can be used to prove, membership of a class for the purpose of the allocation of prizes in a lottery. [GA2005, s253].
Ticket cost
Ticket cost is the value of a single entry into a lottery draw that must be paid to the promoter of the lottery before any person is given a ticket (or document) to confirm their entry into the lottery.
Ticket sales
Ticket sales are the total amount paid for tickets in a single lottery before any money is deducted for expenses, prizes, or return to good cause. (Ticket sales are also referred to as lottery proceeds.).
Vending machine
For the purposes of lottery submissions, the term vending machine refers to instant win scratchcards which are sold by lottery ticket vending machines in non-remote settings. Lottery ticket vending machines usually dispense a scratchcard or pull-tab lottery ticket following the insertion of the cost of the ticket into the machine. The machines only dispense a pre-determined ticket (although the result may not be displayed or communicated immediately) - there must be no element of skill or game play required by the purchaser and the machine must not determine the outcome of the lottery or display the result within an interval of less than one hour.

General guidance on lottery submissions

A separate lottery submission must be made for each lottery run under a licence from us.

Each lottery submission must detail:

Lottery submissions must be made via the lottery submissions module on our eServices digital service.

Lottery submissions must be made within three months of the date of the lottery draw. In the case of an instant win (scratchcard) lottery, this should be within three months of the last date on which the instant win game was put on sale (or within three months of the expiry date of the scratchcards).

As we only regulate gambling in Great Britain, not the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (except for The National Lottery), operators must ensure the data they submit is for their operations in Great Britain (GB) only. Northern Ireland data must not be included. Data for customers or operations relating to the Isle of Man, Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey must also be omitted, as these are Crown Dependencies and not part of Great Britain.

If a question is not applicable to a submission, operators must enter ‘0’ in that field. For example, if no prizes (money or non-monetary) were allocated from ticket sales for a rollover, enter a ‘0’ for the field ‘Amount rolled over to the next lottery.’ This is because all numeric fields in each lottery submission must contain a value.

All financial values must be in Pound Sterling.

Lottery operators are reminded that if they sell tickets by both remote and non-remote methods, they need both a non-remote and remote licence (or an ancillary remote licence if (remote) sales are £250k or below per annum). Remote sales are not just those made using the internet. They include any lottery tickets sold over the telephone, or any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication.

Detailed information about the responsibilities of lottery operators, including lottery submissions, can be found in the Licence conditions and codes of practice.

Lottery submissions – landing page

The landing page of the lottery submission module on eServices displays the total lottery proceeds for each lottery reported by a lottery operator along with the details on expenses, total prizes, and the balance of proceeds returned to the purposes of the society.

If you wish to view the full details of a lottery, click 'View' in the Actions column.

To make a new lottery submission click ‘Add lottery submission’ at the bottom of the page.

Check the Messages Requiring Action section to see if we need you to take any actions as a result of your submissions.

Data validation

If you see a message on the submission when you click on the ‘Submit’ button, it is likely that there is a validation error on the submission. These errors must be rectified before re-submitting the return. Make sure that the information you have provided has been entered in the correct format and your calculations are correct.

If you see a message after submission, it is likely that there is information that you are required to provide to us (such as a statement of audited accounts), or there is information in the submission that we may wish to discuss with you (such as your licence category, your total annual proceeds, or your ancillary remote licence). If this is the case, we will contact you using the preferred contact method you have provided to us.

Certification statement

Please note that each lottery submission needs to be confirmed as accurate before it is submitted. This confirmation must be made by either:

Where an External Lottery Manager (ELM) makes the submission on behalf of a society one of the above-named persons at the society must confirm with the ELM that the details on the submission are correct before it is made.

We expect the signatory to make reasonable enquiries to ensure that the lottery submission is accurate and complete. Also, that the organisation’s processes and procedures to provide the data in the lottery submission are robust and assured. The extent of reasonable enquiries will differ depending on the size of business.

Late or inaccurate lottery submissions

Most lottery operators make lottery submissions on time and accurately. Reviewing submissions which are late or have errors, costs time and money and makes us less efficient.

If a lottery operator misrepresents or fails to reveal information that it is asked to provide, unless it has a reasonable excuse, it will have committed an offence under section 342 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). We may prosecute lottery operators which provide us with information which is false or deliberately misleading.

If a lottery submission contains errors and needs to be amended after it has been made, lottery operators must contact us by emailing licensing@gamblingcommission.gov.uk. Include your Gambling Commission licensed name and account number in the email header.

If a lottery operator submits lottery submissions late, we may contact the operator. In the case of repeated late submissions, we will refer the matter to our Enforcement team.

How we handle your data

All information provided will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018) (opens in new tab). However, it may be disclosed to government departments or agencies, local authorities and other bodies when it is necessary to do so in order to carry out our functions and where we are legally required to do so.

As a public authority we must comply with the requirements of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 (opens in new tab). We consider requests for information made under the Act on a case-by-case basis. Our policy on release of information is available on our website.

Lottery submissions guidance notes

Key lottery information
Lottery date - day
Enter the day of the month the lottery was drawn. Use the following format: DD (e.g. 09). The date entered must be on, or before, the current date.
Key lottery information
Lottery date - month
Enter the month the lottery was drawn. Use the following format: MM (e.g. 10). The date entered must be on, or before, the current date.
Key lottery information
Lottery date - year
Enter the year the lottery was drawn. Use the following format: YYYY (e.g. 2022). The date entered must be on, or before, the current date.
Key lottery information
Lottery type
Enter the lottery type from the pre-defined list. The options are subscription, scratchcards, vending machines, and raffle style.
Income from ticket sales (proceeds)
Ticket cost
Enter the cost of a single lottery ticket. Note that the price of the ticket must be the same for all tickets sold. For example, you cannot sell tickets at different prices, or offer three for £5, or charge some entrants while giving others free entry. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than zero.
Income from ticket sales (proceeds)
Ticket sales – Non remote
Enter the total value of ticket sales (proceeds) sold via non-remote means. This is the proceeds of the lottery before any deductions.
This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero. The total ticket sales must be divisible by the ticket cost to produce a whole number.
Income from ticket sales (proceeds)
Ticket sales – Remote
Enter the total value of ticket sales (proceeds) sold via remote means. This is the proceeds of the lottery before any deductions. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero. The total ticket sales must be divisible by the ticket cost to produce a whole number.
Income from ticket sales (proceeds)
Total ticket sales
Auto-populated field. This is calculated from the aggregated non-remote and remote total ticket sales recorded. We refer to this total as the total proceeds from a lottery.
Allocation of ticket sales (proceeds)
Amount of ticket sales passed to the society
Enter the total amount of ticket sales (proceeds) passed on to the purposes of the society (or local authority) which the lottery is promoting. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places less than or equal to proceeds total.
Allocation of ticket sales (proceeds)
Expenses
Enter the total value of expenses ‘reasonably incurred’ in organising the lottery, directly related to the operation of the lottery and paid out of the lottery’s proceeds. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero. Any expenses incurred that relate to the arrangements for several lotteries (for example, the cost of marketing a subscription lottery, or the purchase of a mailing list) can be spread across all lotteries relating to this expenditure. For example, the costs of recruiting a new member to participate in five draws should be spread out across the five lottery submissions that they relate to. Any expenses donated (for example, if a printing company prints the tickets for free), or not paid out of the lottery proceeds (for example, if the cost of setting up the lottery is met from the society’s reserves) must not be included. Further guidance is available in our Lottery proceeds - Advice note (opens in new tab).
Allocation of ticket sales (proceeds)
Prizes allocated from ticket sales
Enter the total value of prizes allocated directly from the total proceeds of this lottery only (remote and non-remote ticket sales combined) This includes prizes of money, money's worth, or partly the one and partly the other. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero.
Any prizes donated to the lottery, or prizes whereby the cost has been met from external sources or from the society’s non-lottery funds, must not be included.
This also excludes monies taken out of the proceeds for a future rollover prize(s) or paid out of this lottery as a rollover prize. Further guidance is available in our Lottery proceeds - Advice note (opens in new tab).
Allocation of ticket sales (proceeds)
Amount rolled over to the next lottery
Enter the total value of ticket sales (proceeds) of this lottery not allocated or claimed in this lottery and rolled over to increase the value of the prizes available for allocation in another lottery . This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero.
Allocation of ticket sales (proceeds)
Total allocation of ticket sales
Auto-populated field. This is calculated by the sum ‘Amount of ticket sales passed to the society’ (add) ‘Expenses’ (add) ‘Prizes allocated from ticket sales’ (add) ‘Amount rolled over to the next lottery’. This figure should equal the amount displayed in the ‘Total ticket sales’ field.
Additional lottery information
Was this lottery run as a branded lottery?
Select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to record if the data is, or is not, a branded lottery. A branded lottery is when multiple society lotteries are promoted under a common brand or image, either in rotation with other societies or as a regular occurrence for that single society. See Common Terms and Definitions for further information on branded lotteries.
Additional lottery information
Name of branded lottery
If the lottery draw was for a lottery run as a branded lottery, tell us the name of the branded lottery in this free-text field.
Additional lottery information
Prizes from rollover
Enter the total cumulative value of prizes paid out for a rollover from a previous lottery or lotteries. This entry is only required if a rollover prize is won and paid out. This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places greater than or equal to zero.
Additional lottery information
Largest prize awarded
Enter the value of the single largest prize awarded in the lottery draw regardless of whether the cost of the prize has been taken directly from the lottery proceeds, donated to the society, or paid for from other (non-lottery) funds.
The largest prize awarded is the highest single value prize won by virtue of a lottery ticket (whether in money, money's worth, or partly the one and partly the other and including any winnings arising from a rollover).
This must be a numerical value with 2 decimal places.
Additional lottery information
Date of next lottery - day
Enter the day of the month the next lottery will be drawn, or in the case of an instant win lottery the last date the tickets will be on sale, or the expiry date of the tickets. Use the following format: DD (e.g. 09). The date entered must be on, or after, the current date. If you do not know the date of your next lottery, please enter an estimated date up to 12 months in advance. You will need to inform us if this date changes.
Additional lottery information
Date of next lottery - month
Enter the month the next lottery will be drawn, or in the case of an instant win lottery the last date the tickets will be on sale, or the expiry date of the tickets. Use the following format: MM (e.g. 10). The date entered must be on, or after, the current date. If you do not know the date of your next lottery, please enter an estimated date up to 12 months in advance. You will need to inform us if this date changes.
Additional lottery information
Date of next lottery - year
Enter the year the next lottery will be drawn, or in the case of an instant win lottery the last date the tickets will be on sale, or the expiry date of the tickets. Use the following format: YYYY (e.g. 2022). The date entered must be on, or after, the current date. If you do not know the date of your next lottery, please enter an estimated date up to 12 months in advance. You will need to inform us if this date changes.
Declaration
Statement of confirmation
Select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to confirm that the data submitted is accurate and has been verified as correct prior to submission by an appropriate person.