Small Society Lotteries

If you plan to sell lottery tickets other than on the day of the draw you will require a small society lottery registration under the Gambling Act 2005.

Examples of small society lotteries are:

  • Raffle tickets sold over a period of time
  • Guess the name of a toy sold over a period of time
  • 100 Clubs
  • Lottery bonus ball draws

Registrations must be with the local authority where the head office of the society is based.

This allows such societies to hold lotteries over a period of time, where tickets can be sold in advance of the draw in order to raise funds. Lotteries are defined as "any payment of a fee for a ticket where the winning ticket(s) are allocated by way of chance".

Further information is available from the Gambling Commission’s website.

Cost

There is a fee of £40 payable for a new registration and an annual renewal fee of £20, providing the renewal is received prior to expiry of the existing registration.

Who can apply

Although you do not need to be a registered charity to obtain a registration, there can be no private or commercial gain.

You will need to set up as a society that operates for non-commercial purposes.

A non-commercial society is one established and conducted for:

  • Charitable purposes
  • The purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sporting or cultural activity
  • Any other non-commercial purpose other than private gain.

Registration form

You can download the small society lottery registration form below, which can be sent electronically to licensing@north-herts.gov.uk or by post to:

Licensing, North Hertfordshire District Council, P O Box 10613, Nottingham, NG6 6DW

The form should be fully completed and accompanied by the specified fee and appropriate documentation.

New societies may be required to provide a copy of the society’s constitution to determine whether or not the non-commercial requirement has been met.

Registrations operate for an unlimited period (subject to payment of the annual renewal fee within the specified period) unless the registration is cancelled or revoked.

Determination

The licensing authority must refuse the registration if, in the previous five years prior to the registration being requested:

  • An operating licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked by the Gambling Commission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

The licensing authority may refuse the registration if they think that:

  • The applicant is not a non-commercial society
  • A person who will, or may, be connected with the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence under Schedule 7 of the Gambling Act 2005
  • Information provided in, or with, the application for registration is found to be false or misleading

A registration may only be refused after the society has been given the opportunity to make written representations. In the first instance, a society will be informed why the licensing authority is considering refusing the registration and provided with a summary of the evidence on which the initial assessment has been made. This is to allow the society to make its written representation.

The society has a right of appeal against the decision of the licensing authority to the local Magistrates’ Court within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the decision notice.

Revocation

A registration may be revoked by the licensing authority if it thinks it would have had to, or would have been entitled to, refuse an application for registration if it were being made at that time.

If a returns form is not provided within the specified period (see below) the licensing authority would be entitled to have doubts whether the society was a non-commercial society and may revoke the registration.

The Gambling Commission will be informed of any revoked registrations.

A registration may only be revoked after the society has been given the opportunity to make written representations. In the first instance, a society will be informed why the licensing authority is considering revoking the registration and provided with a summary of the evidence on which the initial assessment has been made. This is to allow the society to make its written representation.

The society has a right of appeal against the decision of the licensing authority to the local Magistrates’ Court within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the decision notice.

Registration conditions

Lottery size

  • The total value of tickets to be sold for each single lottery must not exceed £20,000 in a calendar year
  • The collective value of tickets to be sold for all lotteries must not exceed £250,000 in a calendar year
  • If a society plans to exceed either of these limits it will be classed as a large society which must be licensed by the Gambling Commission

Prizes

  • Prizes can be cash, other monetary payments, goods or services
  • A maximum of 80% of the gross proceeds of any lottery may be divided between prizes and expenses incurred in running the lottery
  • Donated prizes are not counted as part of the 80% as no cost has been incurred but must still be declared on the lottery return form
  • No single prize (whether money, money’s worth or a combination of the two) can exceed £25,000
  • Rollovers between lotteries are permitted but the maximum prize cannot exceed £25,0000
  • A minimum of 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purpose(s) for which the society was set up
  • Alcohol can be offered as a prize however it cannot be given to any winner under the age of eighteen years and must be in a sealed container.

Tickets

Tickets can be either physical or virtual (e.g. an email) and can be sold in advance of the draw however all tickets must show:

  • The name of the promoting society
  • The price of the ticket (there is no maximum price however all tickets must cost the same)
  • The name and address of the society member who is designated as having responsibility for the promotion of the lottery
  • The date of the draw(s)

Sale of tickets

  • Tickets must not be sold by any person sixteen years of age or younger
  • Tickets must not be sold to any person sixteen years of age or younger
  • Tickets can be sold from a kiosk, shop, building or by travelling door-to-door
  • Tickets cannot be sold by standing in the street (which includes any bridge, road, lane, footway, subway, court or passage)

Returns form

The registered society must provided a return to the licensing authority, using the prescribed return form below, no later than three months after the date of the draw (or in the case of multiple connected draws, after the date of the last draw in the calendar year).

Two members of the society, aged over eighteen years, must sign the return form to verify its accuracy. A copy of the letter(s) of appointment for these two members must be included with the returns form.

Returns can be sent electronically to licensing@north-herts.gov.uk or by post to:

Licensing, North Hertfordshire District Council, P O Box 10613, Nottingham, NG6 6DW

Failure to submit a returns form within the prescribed timescale may result in revocation of the registration.

The licensing authority is required to retain the returns forms for a minimum period of eighteen months from the date of the lottery draw, or last draw, during which they are available for public inspection.

Annual fee

In order to maintain the registration, an annual fee must be paid within the period of two months ending on the day before the anniversary of the registration first being accepted by the licensing authority.

Failure to pay the annual fee within the prescribed timescale will result in the registration automatically being cancelled meaning that any further lottery activity would be unlawful and must cease immediately. To continue with lottery activity, a new registration would need to be submitted and confirmed by the licensing authority before any further lottery activity could commence.

AttachmentSize
PDF icon Lotteries Registration Form68.15 KB
PDF icon Lotteries Return Form34.66 KB