Skip to content

Small society lottery registration

Information on small society lottery registration

Registration of Small Society Lotteries is governed by the Gambling Act 2005 ("The Act"). Societies are required to register with the Local Authority if they wish to hold certain lotteries in accordance with The Act.

Definition of society

Section 19 of the act defines a society as such if it is established and conducted:

A lottery cannot be promoted unless the appropriate permission has been granted by the Gambling Commission, a Small Society Lottery Registration has been granted or the Lottery fall under one of the exemptions defined in the Act.


Societies must register if they wish to hold a raffle where the tickets are sold prior to the day of the draw. The tickets must be pre-printed bearing the name of Local Authority, the name of the Society, the name and address of the promoter and the date on which the draw is to take place. Following the draw, the promoter must complete a return expenses form, which shows details of money spent on expenses and prizes and how much money was raised. Prizes must not exceed the limits set out by the Act - i.e. that combined with any expenses incurred with the running of the lottery they must not comprise more than 80% of the total proceeds of the lottery. Donated prizes are not counted as part of the 80% but should still be declared on the return following the lottery.


Returns must be submitted no later than three months after the date on which the lottery draw was held.


Registrations run for one year from the granted date. Initial registration is £40 and renewals are £20.


The following lotteries are exempt from the need to apply for a Lottery Registration:

Private lottery

Private Society Lottery - these can only be promoted by authorised members of a society, and tickets can only be sold to other members of that same society, or to persons on the society premises. The lottery may only be promoted for a purpose for which the society is conducted. The society can be a group or society, provided it is not established and conducted for purposes connected to gambling.

Work Lottery - the promoter of the lottery must work on the premises and can only sell tickets to persons who also work on the same premises. All the proceeds from the lottery must be used for prizes or reasonable expenses and the lottery cannot make a profit e.g. Grand National Sweepstake

Residents Lottery - The promoter must live at a single set of premises and tickets may only be sold to persons who also live at the same premises. Proceeds may only be used for prizes and reasonable expenses, no profit can be make e.g. Raffle in a residential care home

Customer lottery

This is the sale of tickets to customers by the occupiers of business premises.

Free draws and prize competitions

Free draws are exempt from the control of the Act. Prize competitions are exempt provided that the competition is reasonably likely to prevent a significant proportion of people who wish to participate from doing so; or prevent a significant proportion of people who participate from receiving a prize.

Application for registration of a Small Society Lottery

Applications should be sent with the appropriate fee to the address on the left. Cheques should be made payable to Boston Borough Council.


For any licensing enquiries please contact us using the details on the left. A member of the licensing team will normally be available at the Municipal Buildings on weekdays 9am - noon and 2pm - 5pm (4.30pm on Fridays). We may be available at other times by prior appointment.

Privacy Notice

We are required by law to protect your privacy and inform you how your information may be used.The Licensing team collect your personal information to process and manage your  Registration Application.

Some of your information may be made available on a publicly available register and provided on our website as required by relevant legislation.

The information provided by you may also be used for legitimate reasons by other departments of Boston Borough Council and other lawful agencies.

These reasons may include but are not limited to: prevention of crime and detection of fraud

In some cases information relating to your application may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act, this council will review these requests to consider if it is lawful to comply.

The Council takes your privacy seriously.  The Council is the Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998.

If you want to know more about the information we have about you, or the way we use your information please contact the Council