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How to run a small society lottery

You don't need a licence from us to run a small society lottery, but you must register your lottery with your local licensing authority.

Register your small society lottery

You must register your lottery with your local licensing authority (usually your local council). You can find your local council on GOV.UK (opens in new tab).

How much does it cost?

Normally you'll need to complete an application form and pay a registration fee of £40 to your local council.

You’ll need to pay a £20 renewal fee after the first year.

Who can I sell tickets to?

You can sell tickets to people aged 16 and over.

Ticket requirements

Your tickets must show:

  • the name of your society
  • the ticket price, which must be the same for all tickets
  • the name and address of the organiser, or, if you are using them, the name of the External Lottery Manager
  • the date of the draw, or information which enables the date to be determined.

Can I claim my costs?

You can claim costs for prizes and expenses up to the value of 80% of ticket sales.

If someone else is running your lottery

Your society can employ an ELM to run all or part of your lottery. However, if you employ an ELM they must apply for an operating licence.

Rules for small society lotteries

There are rules around small society lotteries that you must follow. These are as follows:

  • at least 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the society (the ‘good cause’)
  • no single prize may be worth more than £25,000, even if it is donated
  • you cannot sell more than £20,000 of tickets in a single lottery, or £250,000 in any one year
  • you can roll over prizes to another lottery run by your society, but that prize cannot be worth more than £25,000
  • every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the society must take payment for the ticket fee before entry into the draw is allowed
  • you can sell tickets door to door, online, by telephone or face to face, but you cannot sell tickets in a street (including passages through shopping malls)
  • you must send details of your lottery to the local authority it is registered with, no later than three months after the lottery is drawn. The local authority will have a specific form to use for this.
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