Small society lottery

The Gambling Act 2005 consolidates and repeals the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1863, The Gaming Act 1968 and The Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.

Bassetlaw District Council Licensing Department is responsible for issuing Small Society Lottery Permits in respect of the above Act.

Small Society Lottery Definition

A Small Society Lottery is a lottery promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society (see below). It is an exempt lottery, in that a Small Society lottery does not require a Licence from the Gambling Commission

A society is non-commercial if it 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 tickets for a single lottery exceed £20,000 or the total value of tickets in a year exceeds £250,000 a lottery is a Large Society Lottery and a licence will be required from the Gambling Commission.

Societies who run Small Society Lotteries under registration with the local authority and who sell tickets by means of remote communication (internet, telephone etc) will not be required to hold a remote gambling licence issued by the Commission.


The promoting society of a Small Society Lottery must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with the Local Authority in the area where their principal office is located.

Applicants for new registrations will be required to submit:

  • A draft of the scheme under which the proposed lottery/lotteries will be run
  • Terms and Conditions or Constitution of the Society
  • Minute or other resolution duly certified saying that the above has been adopted

Fees Payable

New registrations cost £40.00. The registration is renewable annually at a cost of £20.00, which must be paid within the period of two months which ends immediately before each anniversary of the registration.

Regulations under the Gambling Act 2005

As the purpose of permitted lotteries is to raise money for non-commercial causes, the Act requires that a minimum proportion of the money (20%) raised by the lottery is channelled to the goals of the Society that promoted the lottery. If a Small Society lottery breaks these limits then it will be in breach of the Act’s provisions and consequently liable for prosecution.

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 at the Society for promoting Small Lotteries, or (if there is one), the external lottery Manager; and
  • The date of the draw, or enables the date to be determined

The Act requires that lottery tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16 to persons over the age of 16.


A registered Society’s return form must be submitted to Bassetlaw District Council’s Licensing Department within the three months beginning on the day on which the draw (or last draw) in the Lottery took place. It must be signed by two members of the Society appointed in writing for that purpose by the Society’s governing body and accompanied by a copy of that appointment.

Last Updated on Wednesday, February 28, 2024