The Gambling Act 2005 controls the conduct of small lotteries and raffles for raising money.
The Council registers societies which are established for one of the following purposes:
- participation in or support of athletic sports or games or cultural activities; and
- other purposes which are not for private gain or commercial undertaking.
Following changes to legislation, private society, work and residents' lotteries can now be used for any charitable or non-commercial purpose. Reasonable amounts for expenses and prizes can be deducted from the money raised.
There is no requirement for lottery tickets to contain prescribed information, however, all other operational rules remain the same.
Incidental lotteries, such as raffles at fetes, can be held at both non-commercial and commercial events to raise to raise funds for charitable purposes. The results can be announced during or after the event, however, all other operational rules remain the same, including the requirement that tickets may only be sold during the event.
The society must register with the Council if the total amount of chances sold for any one lottery is less than £20,000, or the total for all lotteries held in a calendar year is less than £250,000. The total value of prizes offered may not exceed 55% of the proceeds.
If a society wishes to run lotteries which exceed these amounts, they must register with the Gambling Commission and must promote all further lotteries (of whatever size) held in that or the following 3 calendar years under the Gambling Commission Board's registration and will not be able to change to a local authority registration during that time.
Where a small lottery (raffle) is conducted at a private event and the tickets are sold at that event and the draw and prize giving takes place at or after that event, then the lottery does not need to be registered. Likewise, private clubs and societies do not need to be registered as long as the sale of tickets or chance is restricted to its members, including people who work or reside on the same premises.
The Gambling Act 2005 can be found here.
There is a registration fee of £40 and registration lasts for a calendar year from the date it was first issued. To register please complete and return an application form with your payment. If a society wishes to continue its registration, it must pay a renewal fee of £20.
The promoter of a lottery must complete a returns form and send it to the Council not later than the end of the third month after the date of the lottery. The return must be certified by 2 members of the society (other than the promoter), they must be 18 years old or older and appointed in writing by the society's governing body.
If the Council proposes to refuse to register a society, the society will be given the opportunity to be heard before the Council makes its final decision. If registration is refused, there is a right of appeal through the crown court except where the Gambling Commission has refused or revoked the registration.