Read this: the definitive guide to raffles and lotteries
Raffles and lotteries are a great way to fundraise for charity. They are unique in that they are suitable for anyone fundraising for anything. However, as the most popular topic on our helpline, it is clear the rules are hard to penetrate.
This blog looks to simplify the world of raffles and lotteries once and for all.
1. A lottery is any game where people pay for a random chance to win
2. A raffle is a lottery
3. (Unofficially) lotteries come under 3 classifications
- Small Society Lottery
- Large Society Lottery
- Exempt Lottery
4. Small Society Lotteries require you to register with your local authority
5. Large Society Lotteries require licence from the Gambling Commission
6. Exempt Lotteries do not require a licence
What type of lottery are you running?
1. Answer these questions:
- Are you selling tickets to the public?
- Are you selling tickets prior to the day of the draw?
- How much money do you expect to make?
- Is your lottery part of a bigger event?
- Are you selling tickets remotely (online etc)
2. Ring the licensing department of your local authority (or of where the draw is due to take place if different), they will be able to tell you:
- Whether you need a licence or are exempt
- What you need to do to stay within the restrictions of that licence/exemption
- If needed, how to apply for your licence
- There is very little chance you are running a Large Society Lottery. If you are, the licensing officer will direct you to the Gambling Commission who will sort you out.
- Talk to your local authority’s licensing team early on
- Do not spend any money on your lottery (tickets etc) until you speak to the licensing team at your local council
- Talk to the charity/cause you are looking to help. They should be aware of your activity and might be able to help.
My top tip
9 times out of 10 you will be running a Small Society Lottery. Each different local authority can set slightly different rules. Avoid the maze of information out there and speak to your local licensing team now!
The IoF will be launching more detailed guidance on raffles and lotteries in the near future.