Small Society Lotteries

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Who needs a Small Society Lottery Registration?

A Small Society Lottery registration can be applied for by any society that promotes a lottery established for charitable purposes; for example for the purpose of supporting sport, athletics or a cultural activity or for any other non-commercial purpose other than for private gain. Small Society registrations are for societies starting a lottery, 100 club or pre-selling raffle tickets before the day of the draw.

Exempt Lotteries

The following exempt lotteries do not need to apply for a small society lottery registration:

  • Incidental lotteries - commonly held at charity fundraising events for example a raffle at a dinner dance
  • Private society lotteries - only members of the society and those on society premises may participate
  • Work lotteries - only people who work together on the same premises may participate
  • Resident's lotteries - only people who live at the same premises may participate
  • Customer Lotteries - only customers at the business premises may participate

Further information on lotteries and their categories can be found on the Gambling Commission Lottery page.

How do I Apply?

The society must apply to the Local Authority where their principal office is situated. Once you are certain you have met the above criteria please fill in the application form.

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If everything is correct with the application you will receive your registration, receipt, a returns form and change of details form from us.

What are the Limits Placed on Small Society Lotteries?

The limits placed on Small Society Lotteries are as follows:

  • At least 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the society
  • No single prize may be worth more than £25,000
  • Rollovers between lotteries are only permitted where every lottery is also a Small Society Lottery promoted by the same society and the maximum single prize is £25,000 and
  • Every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the society must take payment for the ticket fee before entry into the draw is allowed.
  • Small Lotteries must not exceed £20,000 worth of tickets put on sale and the society's aggregate proceeds from lotteries must not exceed £250,000 per year.
  • Societies must be registered with the Local Authority where their principal office is located

Tickets must state:

  • The name of the society on whose behalf the lottery is being promoted.
  • The price of the ticket.
  • The name and address of the person responsible for the promotion of the lottery.
  • The date of the draw

Tickets may not be sold to any person in a street but can be sold in a kiosk or from door to door. The minimum age for participation is 16 years.


The society must submit regular returns to the Local Authority which issued the registration. These tell the Authority how much was raised for the causes of the society, how much was used in prizes and administration. The Local Authority will check these to ensure that the above requirements are being met. You will receive a returns form with your registration. 

Change of Details

If your promoter changes or the promoter changes their name or address please contact us as soon as possible. The same should be done for a change of address of the Society. 

Annual Fee

The annual fee of £20.00 is payable within the two months before the anniversary of the registration, for example if the anniversary of the registration is 31 December the annual fee is due between 31 October and 31 December. If the society fails to comply the Local Authority may cancel the society's registration.

Further information can be found at the Gambling Commission website.

Contact Details

Licensing and Enforcement,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432063