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Fundraising and lotteries on social media

Be aware that lotteries also include:

  • raffles
  • sweepstakes
  • some competitions.

These are all forms of gambling and are subject to laws on how they are run.

You may have seen lotteries being promoted on social media, but this does not mean that are being legally ran.

You need a registration or licence to run a lottery online

This includes lotteries on social media, auction or selling sites, fundraising platforms and live streaming platforms.

If you are considering running a lottery online, make sure it is lawful. You can apply for a licence from the Gambling Commission. If your lottery ticket sales are less than £20,000 (£250,000 in a calendar year) you can apply to your local authority for registration.

The only lotteries that can be advertised online are those run under a licence or registration with a local authority, or a lottery being run at a physical event with the tickets being sold at that event.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) it is a criminal offence to run an illegal lottery and you could face prosecution.

If convicted you could be fined or imprisoned. You could also be breaking the terms and conditions of the site which could lead to your profile being removed.
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