How to register your society to run a small society lottery

Find out how to register to run a small society lottery and what your duties and obligations are.

How to register your society

Download and complete the pdf icon Application form - Registration of a non-commercial society lottery [120kb].

So we can process your application, you will also need to submit the following with the form:

  • Documentation to prove the purpose of the society, such as articles of association, constitution, terms of reference
  • Documentation to show that the applicant has the authority to apply on behalf of the society - such as minutes of meeting showing designation
  • The relevant fee

Legal requirements

Once registered with us, a non-commercial society is entitled to promote small society lotteries, according to Part 11 and Schedule 11 of the Gambling Act 2005.

You must comply with the legal requirements and any restrictions or conditions.

You will find a summary of these listed below, together with other important information on maintaining society registration.

Small society lotteries

You can only run small lotteries if:

  • The proceeds do not exceed £20,000
  • The total amount raised in a calendar year not exceed £250,000
  • The lottery does not become a large lottery because of the number of tickets sold
  • The lottery is run wholly on behalf of the society registered with us

Purpose of the lottery

You can only promote the lottery for specific purposes. These are:

  • For charity
  • To make it possible for people to take part in, or support, as sporting or cultural activity
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than for private gain

Minimum distribution of fund-raising

You must use at least 20 per cent of the proceeds for the society's main purpose.

Maximum lottery prize

The maximum prize in a small society lottery (whether in money, money's worth, or a combination of the two) must be less than £25,000.

Rollover

You can roll over your lottery, but each lottery involved in the rollover must be a small society lottery promoted by, or on behalf of, the same society.

Rollovers are subject to the same restrictions above.

Ticket price

The price paid for each ticket in a small society lottery must be the same and paid to the lottery promoter before the person buying it receives their ticket.

Membership of any group among whom prizes are allocated must not depend on any payment other than the price of a ticket.

Duty to submit a statutory statement  (or return)

You must send us a statutory statement within three months of the draw (or the last draw) taking place.

Exceeding small society lottery limits

If we think that a lottery has exceeded the small society lottery fundraising limits after receiving the statutory statement, we may notify the Gambling Commission.

Retention of records

We maintain a Register of statutory statements (returns) for small lotteries.

Duration of registration

A non-commercial society's registration continues indefinitely - unless the society cancels or it is revoked.

We may cancel registration if you do not pay the annual fee.

Cancellation of registration

You can cancel your registration at any time. You must do this in writing. We will confirm this with the society and the Gambling Commission.

We may cancel a society's registration if we think you are not complying with the legal requirements, restrictions and conditions. You can object to this decision..

Annual fees

You must pay an annual fee on each anniversary of the date your society was registered, please see our Gambling fees and charges.

We may cancel your registration if you do not pay the annual fee. We will notify the society and the Gambling Commission first.

Misusing profits of a lottery

It is an offence to use any part of the lottery's profit for any purpose other than that originally stated.

Maintenance of registration

Promoting a lottery for a society that is not registered is an offence.

Compliance and enforcement

We realise that small society lotteries intend to raise funds for 'good causes'. However, the Gambling Act 2005 gives local authorities a range of enforcement powers so we can tackle 'problem' lotteries.

We will consider the following to decide the risk status of small lotteries:

  •  Submitting late returns
  •  Making no returns at all within a year of registration
  •  Submitting incomplete or incorrect returns
  •  Breaching the limits for small society lotteries
  •  Failure to pay the annual fee
  •  Reports of lottery ticket sales to people under 16
  •  Reports of societies running lotteries without being registered
  •  Indications that the society has breached permissible limits
  •  Reports of misappropriation of funds

We may also notify the Gambling Commission for action and attention if we think it appropriate.

 
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