Small Society Lotteries

What do I need to know?

A Small Society Lottery is a lottery that is promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society (such as a charity or similar non-profit making organisation) to raise funds for any of the purposes for which the society or organisation is set up.

An application to register a Small Society Lottery must be made to the council in the area where the society's principle premises is situated. It should be on the relevant application form and accompanied by any necessary documents and the appropriate fee.

The requirements for small society lotteries are set out below:

Maximum Prize

The maximum prize per ticket in either money or prize worth is £25,000.


The following information must appear on all tickets printed for the lottery:

  • The identification of the promoting society/ charity etc
  • The price of the ticket (all tickets must be the same price)
  • The name and address of the member of the society who is designated as having responsibility for the promotion of the lottery or the name and address of the external organisation that is promoting the lottery on behalf of the society.
  • The date of the draw.

It is possible for the society to provide the lottery 'ticket; by way of an electronic document but it must be in a format whereby it can be either printed off or electronically stored by the person who brought it. All tickets must be paid for before they are dispatched.


The proceeds of an individual small society lottery must not exceed £20,000 and the aggregate proceeds of several individual lotteries in one calendar year (Jan - Dec) must not exceed £250,000. If the proceeds are likely to exceed these amounts then a different registration/ licence is required from the Gambling Commission. A minimum of 20% of the proceeds of the small society lottery must be applied to a purpose for which the society is conducted.

Once an application has been received and processed, we will issue a Small Society Lotteries Registration Certificate. We will also notify the Gambling Commission of the registration. The registration does not expire but it is subject to an annual fee.


Within three months of the last day of any lottery draw taking place, the registered society must send to the Licensing Section a statement/ return showing such particulars as arrangements for the lottery, the proceeds of the lottery and the amount deducted by the promoters. The return must be signed by two adults who are members of the society and have been appointed in writing by the society or its governing body for that purpose. A copy of the appointment must be lodged with the Licensing Section. Once received the return is retained for at least 18 months and is available to be viewed by members of the public during this time.