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Small Society Lotteries

A Small Society Lottery registration can be applied for by any society that promotes a lottery established for charitable purposes. For example, for the purpose of supporting sport, athletics or a cultural activity, or for any other non-commercial purpose other than for private gain. 

Small Society registrations are for societies starting a lottery, 100 club or pre-selling raffle tickets before the day of the draw.

More information about running lotteries is available on the  Gambling Commission website (PDF) [255KB] (opens new window) .

Exempt lotteries

The following exempt lotteries do not need to apply for a small society lottery registration:

  • Incidental lotteries - commonly held at charity fund raising events for example a raffle at a dinner dance
  • Private society lotteries - only members of the society and those on society premises may participate
  • Work lotteries - only people who work together on the same premises may participate
  • Residents' lotteries - only people who live at the same premises may participate
  • Customer Lotteries - only customers at the business premises may participate.

Further information on lotteries and their categories can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Register as a small society lottery

The society must apply to the Local Authority where their principal office is situated.

If you're certain you meet the criteria, please complete a  Small Society Lottery application form (PDF) [210KB] (opens new window)  and  Statutory Declaration form (PDF) [163KB] (opens new window)  and return them to

Applications must be completed by the applicant and the application fee of £40 must be paid online using our online payment site.

If everything is correct with your application, you will receive your registration, receipt, a returns form, statutory declaration and change of details form from us.

Small society lottery annual fee

An annual fee of £20 is payable within the two months before the anniversary of the registration. For example, if the anniversary of the registration is 31 December, the annual fee is due between 31 October and 31 December. If the society fails to comply, the local authority may cancel the society's registration.

Submitting lottery returns

The society must submit regular returns to the local authority which issued the registration. These tell the authority how much was raised for the causes of the society, how much was used in prizes and administration. The Local Authority check these to ensure that the above requirements are being met. You will receive a returns form with your registration. If you need further copies, you can download the small society lottery return form (PDF) [14KB] (opens new window) .

Lottery change of details

If your promoter changes or the promoter changes their name or address, please complete the small society lottery change of details form (PDF) [8KB] (opens new window) . This can also be used for a change of address of the society.

Limits placed on Small Society Lotteries

The limits placed on small society lotteries are as follows:

  • at least 20 percent of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the society
  • no single prize may be worth more than £25,000
  • rollovers between lotteries are only permitted where every lottery is also a small society lottery promoted by the same society and the maximum single prize is £25,000
  • every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the society must take payment for the ticket fee before entry into the draw is allowed
  • small lotteries must not exceed £20,000 worth of tickets put on sale and the society's aggregate proceeds from lotteries must not exceed £250,000 per year
  • societies must be registered with the local authority where their principal office is located.

Tickets must state the:

  • name of the society on whose behalf the lottery is being promoted
  • price of the ticket
  • name and address of the person responsible for the promotion of the lottery
  • date of the draw.

Tickets may not be sold to any person in a street, but can be sold in a kiosk or from door to door. The minimum age for participation is 16 years.