As we approach the summer fete and festival season we know many people will be looking at ways they can raise money for their nominated good cause – lotteries (including raffles and tombolas) are a popular way of doing this but there are rules on how you can operate them lawfully.

The key points to remember are:

  • Anyone running lottery that permits the sale of tickets before an event, or away from the place where the event is held, is going to need either a licence from the Gambling Commission or registration with their local authority
  • There are limits in place for how much you can spend on ticket sales for a single prize (but no limits on donated prizes)
  • All tickets must cost the same (unless they are run at a specific event – these are called incidental lotteries) and a ticket must be provided for each entry
  • If you are a business running a lottery for your customers, you cannot run them for profit or for good causes – all the money from ticket sales must be spent on prizes or expenses
  • You cannot roll over unallocated or unclaimed prizes to another lottery unless you are running your lotteries under a Gambling Commission licence or local authority registration

Read more in the Gambling Commission’s quick guide on running a lottery.

Source: Gambling Commission