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How to run a fundraiser with lotteries or raffles at events

Lotteries at events do not require a licence from us because they are classed as incidental lotteries. This includes tombolas, raffles and sweepstakes.

How to run an incidental lottery

You don't need a licence from us to run an incidental lottery, but you must make sure you follow the rules to run an incidental non-commercial lottery legally.

You can only run an incidental lottery to raise money for charity, not for private gain.

Types of events

Lotteries or raffles can be held at events such as:

  • fetes
  • fairs
  • fundraising dinners
  • festivals.

The lottery can’t be the main reason for holding the event. It must take place alongside a commercial or non-commercial one-off event.

Who can I sell tickets to?

You can sell tickets to anyone at the event.

Ticket requirements

You must provide physical tickets to those taking part. There are no set requirements for what must be printed on the tickets, as long as you can identify which ones are the winning tickets. For example, you can use cloakroom tickets.

There is no limit on how much you can charge for a ticket, and you can apply discount tickets for multiple purchases, such as buy one get one free.

You can sell tickets for an incidental lottery to children.

Tickets can only be sold at the location of the event and whilst the event is taking place. You can’t sell tickets online (which includes social media) or in advance of the event. 

Can I claim my costs?

You can take up to a maximum of £100 from your proceeds to cover expenses to run the lottery. For example, costs for printing tickets or hiring equipment.


You can take up to a maximum of £500 from proceeds to pay for prizes. Prizes can also be donated, there isn’t a limit on how much donated prizes can cost.

Prizes can't rollover from one lottery to another.

Announcing the result

You can either do the lottery draw during or after the event. We recommend that you make it clear to participants when you'll be announcing the result.

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