Small society lotteries

Non-commercial societies wishing to promote small lotteries, raffles, prize draws or similar, in order to raise funds for a purpose of the society, must be registered with us.

Societies can request registration by completing our online form, below:

Apply for registration

The initial registration fee is £40, with an annual fee of £20 payable in each subsequent year until the registration is surrendered or revoked.

Restrictions on small lotteries

To be classified as a 'small' lottery, each individual promotion must meet the following requirements:

  • the proceeds from a single lottery must not exceed £20,000
  • the aggregate proceeds from lotteries promoted in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000
  • at least 20 per cent of the proceeds of every lottery must be used for a purpose for which the promoting society is established and conducted.


The maximum value of any prize fund allowed in a small society lottery is £25,000. This limit applies to both cash prizes and the value of any goods or services offered as a prize.

Unclaimed prizes can be 'rolled over' to future lotteries run by the same society, providing that the £25,000 prize limit is not breached.


Every ticket sold in a lottery must be the same price, and the buyer must be given a document that identifies the promoting society, the price of the ticket, the name and address of a person responsible for the lottery, and the draw date(s).

Lottery tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16, to persons over the age of 16.

Return of lottery details

After promoting a lottery, the registered society must return details of that lottery to us within three months of the date of the draw (or last draw). The details required include:

  • details of the arrangements for the lottery including the date(s) on which tickets were sold, the dates of any draw(s) and the arrangements for prizes (including any rollover)
  • the proceeds of the lottery
  • the amounts deducted in respect of the provision of prizes
  • the amounts deducted in respect of other costs incurred in organising the lottery
  • any amount applied to a purpose for which the promoting society is conducted
  • details of any expenses that were paid for other than by deduction from the proceeds.

A template returns form, which can be used to submit these details, is available below.

 Small society lottery template returns form (PDF 55KB)

Every completed returns form must be signed by two directors, trustees or members who have been nominated by the society. A written document confirming their nomination (for example, minutes from an Annual General Meeting) should be supplied with the return.

Large society lotteries

Any lottery with proceeds of more than £20,000, or multiple lotteries run by a society with total proceeds of more than £250,000 in a calendar year, will be classified as large society lotteries.

We are obliged to notify the Gambling Commission of any such lotteries carried out by societies registered with us, and all subsequent lotteries run by the society in the following three years will need to be licensed by the Commission under an operating licence. Please see the Gambling Commission's website for further details about lottery operating licences.

Contact us

Telephone: 01442 228470 / 228860

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Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 06 September 2016 at 08:41 AM

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