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Glasgow City Council

Registration of Small Society Lotteries

The Gambling Act 2005 requires non-commercial societies to be registered with the relevant licensing authority if they wish to run small society lotteries.

Non-commercial societies with a principal office registered in the Glasgow City Council administrative boundary should register with the City of Glasgow Licensing Board.

What is a Non-commercial Society?

A society is non-commercial if it is established and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes
  • the purpose of enabling participating in, or supporting of, sport, athletics or cultural activity
  • any other non-commercial purpose, other than private gain

What is a Small Society Lottery?

Society lotteries are lotteries promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society. 

A Small Lottery is defined as a lottery where:

  • the proceeds of a single lottery must not exceed £20,000
  • the total proceeds of all lotteries held in a calendar year, from 1 January to 31 December of the same year, may not exceed £250,000
  • during the promotion of a lottery, the total proceeds of the lottery must not exceed £250,000 for that calendar year

If a lottery exceeds the restrictions set out above it becomes a large society lottery, which is regulated by the Gambling Commission and requires an operating licence.  

How much will it cost to register?

Registration is subject to an initial registration fee of £40 and lasts for an unlimited period subject to payment of an annual fee of £20.  Registration can be cancelled at any time.  Fees are set by legislation and cannot be amended or waived by the Licensing Board.

How do I apply?

To apply for a licence, return your completed application form with the appropriate fee to the Licensing Section.

Alternatively you can submit your application by post to the following address:

City of Glasgow Licensing Board
City Chambers
George Square
Glasgow G2 1DU

We recommend that you send the application by Recorded Delivery/Special Delivery to ensure that it is received.

Once registered does a Non-commercial Society have to provide information on their Lottery?

Within three months of the lottery draw taking place, a society must submit a statutory return of the lottery to the Licensing Authority.

Are there exemptions from registration?

A non-commercial society does not require registration for an incidental non-commercial lottery.  A lottery is exempt if it is incidental to a non-commercial event where no private gain is made and:

  • only the prescribed sum for the cost of prizes and running the lottery are deducted from the proceeds;
  • tickets for the lottery are only sold on the premises where the event is taking place;
  • tickets for the lottery are only sold whilst the event is taking place;
  • the results of the lottery must be made public while the connected event is taking place.

Is further guidance available?

The Gambling Commission has published useful guidance on Fundraising with small society lotteries.

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