Small society lotteries and raffles

Part of: Gambling permits

If you're a charity, or other non-commercial organisation, and wish to run a small lottery, or raffle, to raise funds, you may need to register with us. Your principal office must be based in Haringey. 


Definition of a society

You're a society if, as defined in The Gambling Act 2005, you're established and conducted: 

  • for charitable purposes 
  • to enable participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or cultural activities 
  • any other non-commercial purpose other than private gain 

Definition of a lottery 

You're running a lottery if: 

  • participants pay to take part 
  • one or more prizes are given to one or more participants 
  • allocation of prizes is done by a process of chance 

Exempt lotteries 

You do not need to register with us if your lottery is an: 

  • incidental non-commercial lottery – commonly held at a charity fundraising event 
  • private – such as a work Christmas raffle 
  • customer lottery – only customers at the business premises take part 
  • your ticket sales class you as a large lottery (see below) 

Value of ticket sales 

You’re classed as a small society lottery if the total value of tickets for sale: 

  • per single lottery do not exceed £20,000 
  • for all lotteries in a calendar year do not exceed £250,000 

Sale values higher than this are classed as a large lottery.  

To operate a large lottery you must get an get an operating licence from the Gambling Commission instead.

Register your small society lottery 

If your lottery is not exempt and not classed as a large lottery, you must register with us as a small society lottery. 

Please complete the lotteries and raffles application form




You must renew your registration by 1 January each year. 

Please complete the lotteries and raffles renewal form



Organising your lottery 

Ticket information 

All lottery tickets must state the: 

  • name of the society promoted by the lottery 
  • price of the ticket 
  • name and address of the society member responsible for the promotion of the lottery 
  • date of the draw 
  • that the society is licensed by the local authority 

Cost of tickets 

When setting a price for your tickets, understand that: 

  • every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and payment must be taken before entry into the draw is allowed  
  • there is no maximum price for a ticket 


No single prize can be worth more than £25,000.

Mailing tickets 

To minimise the risk of fraud, use one or more of the following measures when mailing lottery tickets: 

  • don't send tickets to society non-members unless they ask for them 
  • limit the value of tickets sent to one address of a non-society member to £20, or maintain records of tickets sent out and not returned 

Social responsibility 

Only those 16 and over can play in a lottery. 

Lotteries are a form of gambling. You must ensure children and other vulnerable people are not exploited. 

Further information about social responsibility requirements is available in the Gambling Commission's licence conditions and codes of practice.

After your lottery 


At least 20% of the lottery proceeds must go to the purposes of your society. 

Financial records 

Records must: 

  • be retained for at least 3 years for each lottery 
  • be available for inspection on request 
  • show details of the total proceeds of each lottery 
  • show the lottery expenses  
  • show the number of sold and unsold tickets 

Lottery returns 

Please complete and return the lotteries and raffles return form  within 3 months of the day of the draw or last draw. 

Contact the licensing team