Small society lottery registration

A lottery is a kind of gambling which has three essential elements:

  • you have to pay to enter the game
  • there is always at least one prize
  • prizes are awarded purly on chance

A typical small scale lottery is a raffle, bonus ball, sweepstake or 100 club.

The Gambling Act 2005 defines a Small Society Lottery with the definition breaking down into two distinct areas:

Society status – the society in question must be 'non-commercial'.

Size of lottery - the total value of tickets to be put on sale per single lottery must be £20,000 or less, or the aggregate value of tickets to be put on sale for all their lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000. If the operator plans to exceed either of these values then they will be classed as a large lottery operator, and must be licensed with the Gambling Commission instead.

The promoting society of a small society lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with a licensing authority.

The licensing authority with which a small society lottery is required to register must be in the area where their principal office is located. If a licensing authority believes that a society’s principal office is situated in another area, it should inform the society and the other authority as soon as possible.

Incidental non-commercial lotteries do not require to be registered with Fife Council.  These are raffles etc which are held at non-commercial events, such as school fetes etc.  All the sales and the draw must take place during the main event, which may last more than a single day.  Prizes can not total more than £500.

Please see the attached publications below and the Gambling Commission website for more details on Lotteries.



Regulation Team
Tel: 03451 55 11 77 Contact Regulation Team online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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