Raffles, lotteries and prize draws
If you are planning a raffle (or similar activity like a lottery or prize draw) as part of your event, with tickets being sold at the event and winners being announced during the event you will not need a licence – this is called an Incidental Lottery.
You will however, need to make sure you comply with the following rules and regulations:
- Your raffle/lottery/prize draw can only be promoted for charitable or other ‘good cause’ purposes and cannot be run for private or commercial gain
- All tickets must be sold during your event and at the location in which your event is taking place, with the results being announced either during the event or after it has finished – it is recommend that you tell participants when the results will be announced
- Tickets can be sold over a number of days if the event lasts longer than a single day, this may be the case if you are hosting a festival or village fete for example
- You cannot deduct more than £100 from the proceeds for expenses you have incurred in organising the lottery, for example, the cost of printing tickets or hiring of the equipment, and no more than £500 can be deducted from the income you have received for prizes
- Your lottery cannot involve a rollover of prizes from one lottery to another
- Tickets must be sold for the same price throughout your event with no discounts
Top tip: We recommend using the standard cloakroom tickets, which you could either sell individually or in strips of five.
Planning to sell tickets in advance or to people not attending the event?
Then you will need a local lottery license from your local Council as well as specially printed tickets. Tickets must include the address of the promoter, details of the charity, details of the local authority in which your lottery is registered, the date and place of the prize draw, the cost of the raffle ticket and space for recording the name, address and telephone number of those buying them. If tickets sales exceed £20,000 you must register the lottery/raffle with the Gambling Commission.
There are three types of Private Lotteries: Private Society Lotteries (only members of the society and those on the society premises can take part), Work Lotteries (only people who work together on the same premises can take part) and Residents’ Lotteries (only people who live together can take part). For more information on Private Lotteries visit The Gambling Commission website.
Top tip: You may consider taking details of those buying tickets so you can let them know if they leave before the winners are announced.