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Small Society Lotteries Registration

Any non-commercial society that wishes to promote small lotteries, raffles, prize draws or similar, in order to raise funds for a purpose of the society, must be registered with the local authority for the area in which the principal offices of the society are situated.



To be classified as a 'small' lottery, each draw must meet the following requirements:

  • the proceeds from a single lottery must not exceed £20,000

  • the aggregate proceeds from lotteries promoted in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000

  • at least 20% of the proceeds of every lottery must be used for a purpose for which the promoting society is established and conducted.

If a Society expects to exceed the above, they will be required to be registered with the Gambling Commission.


Every ticket sold in a lottery must be the same price, and the buyer must be given a document that identifies the promoting society, the price of the ticket, the name and address of a person responsible for the lottery, and the draw date(s).

Lottery tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16, to persons over the age of 16.


The maximum value of any prize allowed in a small society lottery is £25,000.

Unclaimed prizes can be 'rolled over' to future lotteries run by the same society, providing that the prize limit is not breached.

Filing of returns

After promoting a lottery, the registered society must return details of that lottery to the local authority within three months of the date of the draw (or last draw). The details required include:

  • details of the arrangements for the lottery including the date(s) on which tickets were sold, the dates of any draw(s) and the arrangements for prizes (including any rollover), and any details of any donated prizes;

  • the proceeds of the lottery

  • the amounts deducted in respect of the provision of prizes

  • the amounts deducted in respect of other costs incurred in organising the lottery

  • any amount applied to a purpose for which the promoting society is conducted

  • details of any expenses that were paid for other than by deduction from the proceeds.

If you employ an external lottery manager (ELM), they must be licensed by the Gambling Commission.



There are a number of exemptions from applying for a small society lottery:

  • Incidental Non-Commercial Lotteries
  • Private Lotteries
  • Customer Lottery



The initial application fee is £40 and the annual fee due on the anniversary of the date of registration is £20.

If you fail to pay your annual fee, we may cancel your registration, a notice will be sent to you formally in this instance.


Eligibility Criteria

To register, a Society must be non-commercial. A society is defined under S.19 as non-commercial if it is established and conducted:

  • For charitable purposes (defined under S.2 of the Charities Act 2006)
  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain.

The prescribed form and the required fee must be submitted to the local authority for the area in which the principal offices of the society are situated.


Regulation Summary


Application Evaluation Process

Once we have received your application, we will ensure you comply with the above requirements and your application will be sent to the Police for checks.


How we will notify you / Timescales

We will endeavour to process your application within 28 days of receipt. Once granted we will issue you with a registration certificate after the 28 day period.

If we refuse your application, you will be served a notice of this intention. Your application will then be determined by the Licensing Committee, where you will be invited to attend.

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time period please contact us.



You can apply by printing an application and sending it to us through the post or bring it to our reception.

Payment can be made by cheque (made payable to Sheffield City Council) through the post. Cash, cheques and card payments are accepted if you bring it to our reception.

For details of our postal address, how to find our reception and reception opening times please contact us.



Please contact us in the first instance.

The applicant or the Society has a right to appeal the Licensing Authority’s decision to a Magistrate’s Court within 21 days of the notice of decision.


Complaints and comments

 Please contact us.

  • Modified: Nov 24, 2014 11:01:52 AM