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Small society lotteries

Small society lotteries do not require a licence but must be registered with us if the principal office of the society is located here.

Society lotteries are promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society. A society is non-commercial if it is established and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes
  • enabling participation in sport or a cultural activity (for example theatre)
  • any non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain. 

A small society lottery:

  • does not have proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw
  • does not have aggregated proceeds in excess of £250,000 in a calendar year.

You can find out more about small society lotteries from the Gambling Commission's website.

Once your lottery has finished, you will need to send us a small society lottery return form to us. The return must be signed by two members of the Society appointed in writing for that purpose, and accompanied by a copy of that appointment. All signatories must be over the age of 18 years.

My lottery doesn't fit the definition of a small society lottery

If your lottery is not for the purposes shown, or if the proceeds exceed the amounts of a small society lottery, then you will need to apply to the Gambling Commission for a licence .

Lotteries which are exempt from the need for a licence

There are three types of exempt lottery.  They are as follows:

1) Incidental non-commercial lotteries

These are lotteries held at non-commercial events, where all money raised at the event goes entirely to purposes that are not for private or commercial gain.  They must be run in accordance with the relevant regulations which state the maximum sums that promoters of incidental non-commercial lotteries may deduct from the proceeds of a lottery.  The limits are:

a) In respect of the cost of the prizes awarded in the lottery, the promoters may deduct no more than £500.00.

b) In respect of the costs incurred in organizing the lottery, the promoters may deduct no more than £100.00.

2)  Private society, work or residents lotteries

These are lotteries where tickets can only be sold to society members, workers in or residents of a premises.

3)  Customer lotteries

These are lotteries run by occupiers or business premises selling tickets only to customers on the premises itself.

How to get a small society lottery licence

To apply for a licence from us:

  • Download and complete the application form to apply for a new licence, or to renew an old one
  • Pay the relevent fee before you send us a completed application form. Speak to one of our customer service advisors on 0300 373 3730 who can take payment. Check our fees and charges document for the latest fees .
  • Send your completed form to our Land Charges and Licensing section at our  offices in Workington . We'll contact you back to confirm everything has been accepted, or if we need to query something with you.
  • Remember to send us a small society lottery return form within three months of the lottery.

Download the Small Society Lottery application form


Download the Small Society Lottery return form

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