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Gambling Commission UK - Guidelines on how running a lottery


The UK Gambling Commission states: Lotteries are a form of gambling so there is a need for safeguards and other regulations. So, What is a lottery? A lottery is a kind of gambling that has three essential ingredients: 1) You have to pay to enter the game. 2) There is always at least one prize. 3) Prizes are awarded purely on chance. It also emerged that a lottery is the same thing as raffles, tombolas, sweepstakes and more. Lotteries were compared in categories: Small society lotteries (top limit of £ 20,000 in ticket sales), Large society lotteries (minimum limit of £ 20,000 in ticket sales), Local authority lotteries (They must hold a Gambling Commission license), Private society lotteries, Work lotteries/Residents’ lotteries, Customer lotteries, and Incidental lotteries.

We noted that Gambling Commission regulations are all set out in the Gambling Act 2005. *The National Lottery is regulated by the Gambling Commission under a separate Act. So, if you are looking to raise money for charity, there are some key points to follow:

Keypoints for running a lottery

  • Lotteries cannot be run for private profits they can only be run for charitable purposes.
  • A license from the Gambling Commission or registration is required.
  • Ticket sales limitation on how much you can spend, however, no limits on donated prizes.
  • All tickets must cost the same (unless they are run at a specific event)
  • A business running lottery cannot run them for profit or for good causes.
  • All the money from ticket sales must be spent on prizes or expenses.
  • To roll over unallocated or unclaimed prizes to another lottery is not allowed. (Some exceptions)