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Running a lottery syndicate

Lottery syndicates must operate in a certain way in order to avoid being classed as promoting a lottery. Find out more about how to run a lottery syndicate.

Published: 24 June 2021

Last updated: 24 June 2021

This version was printed or saved on: 22 May 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/guide/running-a-lottery-syndicate

Overview: If you want to organise a lottery syndicate with colleagues at work or among a group of friends you do not need a licence or any kind of permission.

However, to run a syndicate, you must ensure that it is operating in a certain way in order to avoid being classed as 'promoting a lottery' under the Gambling Act 2005.

The following example illustrates how a lottery syndicate works.

Syndicate organiser

You do not need a licence if you, as the organiser of a lottery syndicate purchase tickets from a lottery and distribute the winnings amongst the syndicate members. However, to run a syndicate, you must ensure that it is operating in a certain way in order to avoid being classed as promoting a lottery under section 252 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

In a traditional workplace lottery syndicate, person A offers to purchase lottery tickets, using the money of persons B, C, and D. As far as the lottery operator is concerned, person A is the only ticket holder.

Therefore, the lottery promoter would only distribute any prize won to person A. Persons B, C, and D would not have a direct claim. The fact that person A has agreed to distribute the prize, if any of the tickets win, amongst persons B, C, D, gives a contractual relationship between the parties.

This personal syndicate organizer (person A) would avoid being classed as a lottery promoter. If a business operated syndicates as described, the same would apply.