Small society lotteries

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1. Small society lotteries overview

Small society lotteries are often referred to as raffles or draws and can be a good way to raise funds for charitable purposes.

If money is paid for the chance to win a prize where no skill, judgement or knowledge affects the outcome, this is known as a lottery.  If your society wants to do this you may need to register with us.

Societies/clubs who run small society lotteries, that is to say lotteries which are not large lotteries (essentially those in which £20,000 worth of tickets, or less, are put on sale and where the society’s aggregate proceeds from lotteries do not exceed £250,000 a year) may operate without a Gambling Commission licence provided they register with their licensing authority.

If your proceeds/prizes exceed these amounts you will need to be licensed as a large society lottery with the Gambling Commission - Lotteries.   


These are not required to be registered with the Licensing Authority nor do they need to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission:

  • incidental non - commercial lotteries - mainly held at charity fund raising events.
  • private society lotteries
  • work lotteries
  • residents lotteries
  • customer lotteries

If all of the tickets are sold on the same day as the draw, for example at a fête or dance, this wouldn't need registering and can still be run using 'cloakroom tickets'.