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Spot the ball

Spot the ball may involve:

  • betting
  • gaming
  • a prize competition
  • a lottery.

This depends on how your scheme is run.

Is your spot the ball scheme betting?

If you organise your spot the ball scheme so that players are expected to guess or judge whether something is true or not, it is likely to be betting.


If the aim is to choose which number of pre-selected positions is the actual position of the ball in the photograph, it is likely to be betting.

You will need an appropriate betting operating licence to run this type of scheme.

Is your spot the ball scheme a game of chance?

Your scheme could be a game of chance.

If participants are required to take part or be successful in more than three processes before winning a prize you will require a remote casino operating licence.

Is your spot the ball scheme a prize competition?

Your spot the ball scheme could be a prize competition.

To be a prize competition, there must be an element of skill, knowledge or judgement that is likely to prevent a high proportion of people from taking part, or prevent a high proportion of people winning a prize.


If a panel of judges decide the position of the ball and players have to apply judgement, skill or knowledge to match their own decision of where the ball is with that of the panel, it is more likely to be a prize competition than a lottery.

Genuine prize competitions are free from statutory control under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab). and therefore do not require a licence.

Is your spot the ball scheme a lottery?

Lotteries can only be run for good causes and cannot be run for commercial or private gain.

Your spot the ball scheme could be a lottery if it does not require a sufficient amount of skill and is down to luck.

If you are running a spot the ball scheme that is open to the public as a lottery you will need either a lottery operating licence or to register with your local licensing authority.

If you are organising a spot the ball scheme it is your responsibility to ensure you are compliant with the law. If in doubt, you should seek legal advice.

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