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Raffles and small society lotteries - guidance

Small society lotteries can operate without a Gambling Commission licence if they register with us.

Society lotteries are promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society. This is a society that is established and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes
  • enabling participation in sport or cultural activity
  • any non commercial purpose other than that of private gain.

Lotteries are arrangements where people pay to participate for the chance of winning a prize. Raffles, tombolas, sweepstakes are all types of lotteries. 

A small society lottery

  • does not have proceeds that exceed £20,000 for a single draw
  • does not have aggregated proceeds from lotteries in excess of £250,000 in any one year

Most charities fall into this category.  

 Lotteries with proceeds exceeding £20,000 per lottery or £250,000 in a calendar year are regulated by the Gambling Commission.

An exempt lottery is an incidental non-commercial lottery, private lottery, work lottery or residents’ lottery.  See our Small Society Lottery guidance notes.

There are a number of rules concerning lotteries including:

  • who can buy tickets in a lottery
  • what should be shown on tickets
  • the maximum value of a prize

see our Small Society Lottery guidance notes for details.


See  our Small Society Lottery guidance notes.

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