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Gambling Act 2005
Exempt lotteries 

Small society lotteries

Non-commercial society registration

The Gambling Act 2005 (link opens in a new window) has replaced the provisions of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and therefore, small societies wishing to promote lotteries must register with the local authority as a small society lottery.

This information will be useful to anyone thinking of promoting lotteries such as raffles, tombolas and prize draws for example.

What is a lottery?

A lottery is an arrangement which satisfies statutory descriptions of either -

a simple lottery

An arrangement is a simple lottery if - 

  • persons are required to pay to participate
  • one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class
  • the prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance 

or

a complex lottery

An arrangement is a complex lottery if -

  • persons are required to pay to participate 
  • one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class
  • the prizes are allocated by a series of processes 
  • the first of those processes relies wholly on chance 

If you have arrangements that fulfil all of the criteria of either of the above categories, they are defined as a lottery under the Act.

What is the definition of a small society?

A small society is one that meets the requirements of the size and status, as below -

Society status
The society in question must be ‘non-commercial’.

Size of lottery
The total value of tickets to be put on sale per single lottery must be (a) £20,000 or less, or (b) the overall value of tickets to be put on sale for all their lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000.

If you meet the requirements above, then you should apply to register your society as a small society lottery with the authority whose area covers your society’s registered office.

By holding registration, your society will be able to promote lotteries like those above, but there are still other requirements that the society must abide by. Please see the guidance booklet below. This gives further information about the limits placed on value of prizes, information that should appear on tickets, and how to provide a financial return at the end of each lottery. These are amongst other requirements.

However, if your society is commercial and/or is likely to raise in excess of the limits above, then the organisation is classed as a large lottery and it will have to get a lottery operating licence from the Gambling Commission (link opens in a new window).

Can I have a lottery without needing registration?

Several types of lottery may take place without requiring registration. Further information is available on our exempt lotteries page.

Application forms and guidance




Fees

Registration fee (for 12 months registration) £40
Annual fee (before anniversary of registration) £20


Contact us

Licensing section
Hull City Council
33 Witham 
Hull
HU9 1DB

Tel: 01482 300 301
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 554
Email: licensing.requests@hullcc.gov.uk

Contact the Gambling Commission

Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4BP

Tel: 0121 230 6666
Fax: 0121 233 1096
Email: info@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

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