Small society lotteries

A society lottery is a lottery promoted for the benefit of a society whose aims and work are for charitable purposes. Society lotteries support non-commercial aims such as participation in sport, athletics and cultural activities. They are not for private gain.

You do not need a licence to run a small society lottery, but you must register with the council. The lottery must meet these conditions:

  • the total value of tickets for sale for a single lottery must be less than £20,000
  • the total value of tickets for all lotteries held in a calendar year must be less than £250,000.

If you plan to exceed either of these values, you must be licensed by the Gambling Commission (external website).

How do I register?

There are some cases where you may not need to register your lottery. Before you register, check whether your lottery is exempt (external website)

To register, complete a registration form and return it to the address on the form, along with: 

  • a copy of the society’s accounts for the last 12 months 
  • a copy of the society’s constitution, if you have one 
  • a completed certifying members form, signed by 2 members of your society. The promoter can be one of the signatories.


If you already have a small society lottery licence and you want to change the promoter, complete the following form and return it to us.

Small society lottery change of promoter form (PDF, 530KB)

How much does it cost?

It costs £40 to apply for a small society lottery licence. You will also be charged an annual maintenance fee of £20.

Return forms

You will need to complete a return form after each lottery, to show the proceeds, and how they are spent. You must return this to us no more than 3 months after the lottery was held. You can post this to us at the address on the form.

Return relating to a Small Society Lottery (PDF, 606KB)