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Lotteries and raffles

Last updated on: 16-Oct-2020

1. Overview

A lottery or raffle has three essential elements:

  • payment is required to participate
  • one or more prizes are awarded
  • those prizes are awarded by chance

Lotteries or raffles that don't need permission

If your lottery or raffle will be held as part of an event, and tickets will only be sold at the event and not before, then it may be classed as an incidental lottery or raffle.

Such lotteries and raffles will not require a licence provided that they meet the following conditions:

  • the lottery or raffle is for non-commercial purposes and not for private gain
  • you must not take more than £100 in expenses from the proceeds
  • you must not take more than £500 from the proceeds to cover prizes (however, donated prizes are allowed)
  • prizes cannot rollover into another lottery

Lotteries or raffles that need permission

If you wish to sell tickets in advance then you will need permission from a licensing authority.

We are the licensing authority for Small Society lotteries, but for other lotteries you may require a licence through the Gambling Commission.

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