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Small society lotteries


A small scale lottery registration is required if you are a non-commercial organisation wanting to sell printed raffle or lottery tickets in advance of the date on which a draw will take place.

Who should register?

You do not need to be a registered charity to run a raffle or lottery, however they cannot be run for private or commercial gain.

You will need to set up as a society if you are looking to be registered as a small society lottery.

The society must be set up for non-commercial purposes, for example charitable. A society is non-commercial if it is:

  • For charitable purposes
  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain    

Types of lotteries that do not require a licence or registration

These are:

1. customer lotteries - only customers at the business premises.

2. incidental lotteries - must be held at an event (either commercial or non-commercial), for example a charity dinner, exhibition, festival, fete.

3. private lotteries

  • private society lotteries - only members of the society and those on the society premises can participate in the lottery
  • work lotteries - only people who work together on the same premises may participate
  • residents lotteries - only people who live at the same premises may participate

The Gambling Commission Website provides further information regarding these particular lotteries. 

How much is it?

New application, notification or registration£40
Annual permit fee£20
Duration1 year

How to register

Complete the application form for a small scale lottery (PDF) [187KB] and return to us:

Licensing Services
Environmental Health Department
Town Hall
Lancaster Road

Payment can be made card through the licensing office on 01772 906911 (option 1) using a debit or credit card.

What do I need to include?

You may be asked to provide a copy of the society's terms and conditions to prove that you are a non-commercial society.

Refused applications

An application must be refused if in the previous five years:

  • an operating licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked by the Gambling Commission
  • an application for an operating licence made by the applicant has been refused by the Gambling Commission

An application may be refused if:

  • The applicant is not a non-commercial society
  • A person who will or may be connected with the promotion of the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence under Schedule 7 of the Act
  • Information provided in or with the application for registration is found to be false or misleading

Revoked applications

The application may be revoked if the local authority would have had to, or would be entitled to, refuse an application if it were being made at that time.

An application may only be revoked following opportunity to make representations.

Representations may be made at a formal hearing or through correspondence. If your application is revoked, you will be informed by the local authority why the decision has been made.

Appealing a decision

You can appeal a decision to the Local Magistrates' Court within 21 days of receiving the determination notice.

Completing a return form

You must complete a return form for a small society lottery (PDF) [95KB]  within three months of the lottery draw (or the last draw) and return to us:

Licensing Services
Environmental Health Department
Town Hall
Lancaster Road

Payment can be made card through the licensing office on 01772 906911 (option 1) using a debit or credit card.

Please note: the local authority is required to retain the returns for a minimum period of 18 months from the date of the lottery draw and they are available for inspection by members of the public during this period.

Annual fee

In order to maintain the registration, an annual fee is payable. The fee must be paid within two months before the date of registration by the local authority.

A reminder letter will be sent out to you before your annual fee due date detailing how to make payment.

You can pay your annual fee online using the form below.

You will need:

  • a debit or credit card
  • your invoice number

Pay your premises licence fee

Please note: failure to pay the renewal fee for a small-society lottery will result in cancellation of the registration.

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