From 1st September 2007 the Gambling Act 2005 replaced the provisions of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and from that date those societies registered with us under the 1976 Act were automatically registered under the new 2005 Act.

The Act defines a small society lottery with the definition breaking down into two distinct areas:

  • Society status – the society in question must be 'non-commercial'.
  • Size of lottery - the total value of tickets to be put on sale per single lottery must be £20,000 or less, or the aggregate value of tickets to be put on sale for all their lotteries in a calendar year must not exceed £250,000. If the operator plans to exceed either of these values then they will be classed as a large lottery operator, and must be licensed with the Gambling Commission instead.

The promoting society of a small society lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with a licensing authority. The licensing authority with which a small society lottery is required to register must be in the area where their principal office is located. If a licensing authority believes that a society’s principal office is situated in another area, it should inform the society and the other authority as soon as possible.


Subject to certain conditions it is not necessary to register with the council to run a lottery where tickets are only sold at some form of entertainment (e.g. dance or fete) and the prize winners are drawn at the event, or where the tickets are only sold to members of one organisation not set up for the purposes of gaming, betting or lotteries or to persons who all work or reside on the same premises. Conditions that must be complied with are shown in the small lotteries exemptions leaflet (PDF).

Forms for small lotteries

Application form, return form and conditions

Payments and fees

The licence fee for a new small lottery is £40. For a renewal it is £20.

Licensing register

Search the licensing register for all lottery licences issued.