Small society lotteries

Find out about and apply for a small society lottery licence.

A small society lottery is a prize draw or raffle promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society for the purposes of fund raising. It is known in law as an "exempt lottery", which means that it does not need a licence from the Gambling Commission.

A society is non-commercial it if is established and conducted:

  • for charitable purposes
  • for the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity: or
  • for any other non-commercial purpose other than a private gain

A lottery is small if the total value of tickets put on sale in a single lottery is £20,000 or less and the total value of the tickets put on sale in a calendar year is £250,000 or less. Where these limits are exceeded a lottery is a Large Society Lottery and a licence will be required from the Gambling Commission


  • new applications: £40
  • annual fee: £20

An invoice will be emailed when the renewal is due, the invoice must be paid before the lottery registration expires or the registration will be cancelled.


The promoting society of a small society lottery must be registered with the local authority in the area where their principal office is located.

Applicants for new registrations will be required to submit an application.

Make a payment

You can make payment for a fees relating to small society lotteries via our payments webpage.

Make a payment

Regulations under the Gambling Act 2005

As the purpose of permitted lotteries is to raise money for non-commercial causes, a least 20% of the money raised must be channelled to the Society that promoted the lottery. It is an offence to exceed these limits.

Lottery tickets

All tickets in a Small Lottery Society registered with the Local Authority must state:

  • the name of the promoting Society
  • the price of the ticket (must be the same for all tickets)
  • the name and address of the member of the Society who is designated as having responsibility for promoting Small Lotteries, or (if there is one), the external lottery Manager
  • the date of the draw
  • tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16 to persons over the age of 16


A return form must be submitted to the Licensing team within three months of the draw.