Lotteries are governed under the Gambling Act 2005. The promotion and facilitating falls within two categories:

  • Licensed Lotteries (which require an Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission)
  • Exempt Lotteries

 One such exemption is ‘Small Society Lotteries’, these are none commercial and have been established for one of the following purposes:

  • For charitable purposes
  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sports, athletic or a cultural activity
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than for private gain 

These Small Societies must register with the Licensing Authority (council) if tickets are sold prior to the day of the draw.  Please note that the Society must register with the Licensing Authority in the area where the principal office is located.


Societies who register under the act have to pay a fee of £40 and complete an application form.  The registration can be renewed each year for a fee of £20. 

Within a month of a draw a returns form must also be returned to the council.  This asks how much money was raised as well as any costs that were incurred in organising it.