Small society lottery registration

The Act's definition of a small society lottery falls into two distinct areas:

  • Society status - the society in question must be 'non-commercial'.
  • Lottery size - the total value of tickets for sale per single lottery must not exceed £20,000, or the aggregate value of tickets for sale in all lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000

If the operator plans to exceed either of these values, they may need to be licensed with the Gambling Commission to operate a large lottery. Please refer to the Gambling Commission for further clarification on the different types of lotteries, the licensing and registration of lotteries, and exempt lotteries. The local licensing authority registers small society lotteries only.

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Permitted lotteries

The Gambling Act 2005 specifies eight categories of permitted lotteries, only some of which require permission from either the Gambling Commission or the local authority.

For more information about each type of lottery, click on the links below. Only a small society lottery requires registration with the local authority.


Under para 39 of Schedule 11, the society must send returns to the licensing authority within three months of each lottery held. The following information must be submitted:

  • The arrangements for the lottery - specifically the date on which tickets were available for sale or supply, the dates of any draw, and the value of prizes, including any donated prizes and any rollover
  • The total proceeds of the lottery
  • The amounts deducted by the lottery promoters for prizes, including prizes in accordance with any rollovers
  • The amounts deducted by the lottery promoters for costs incurred in organising the lottery
  • The amount applied to the purpose for which the promoting society is conducted (this must be at least 20% of the proceeds)
  • The amount of any expenses incurred in connection with the lottery not paid from the proceeds, and the sources from which they were paid
  • The returns must be sent to the licensing authority within three months of the date of the lottery draw or, in the case of 'instant lotteries' (scratch cards), within three months of the last date on which tickets were on sale.

Returns must be signed (electronic signatures are acceptable) by two members of the society, over 18 years old, appointed for the purpose by the society or its governing body. A copy of their letter or letters of appointment must be included with the return.