About small scale lotteries

Small society lotteries must register with the council. They do not need a licence from the Gambling Commission as long as:

  • £20,000-worth of tickets or less are put on sale (organisers and promoters do not sell tickets to under 16s)
  • the society's aggregate proceeds from the lotteries do not exceed £250,000 a year

External lottery managers

Registered societies may use External Lottery Managers (ELMs) to run part or all of their lotteries such as making arrangements on behalf of a society or council.

All ELMs must hold a lottery manager's operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission before they can manage a licensed society or council lottery or a society lottery registered with the council.

ELMs will also need to hold a remote gambling licence if they plan to sell tickets through remote communication such as online or by phone

The use of an ELM to manage part or all of its lottery does not remove the society's responsibility for ensuring that the lottery is run lawfully and meets all conditions and codes of practice.

Protection of children

Children should not be involved in the buying or selling of small society lottery tickets, including lotteries run by schools or community organisations. Children cannot participate in a lottery by collecting or paying for their parent's tickets.

This offence could involve a penalty of up to £5,000 or imprisonment for up to 51 weeks.

We recommend that each society put procedures in place to reduce the risk of lottery tickets being sold to children or giving tickets to children to sell.

You should also check the age of potentially underage people buying lottery tickets and take action if there are unlawful attempts to buy tickets.