Guide Guide to small society lotteries

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8. Apply for Small Society Lottery registration

Who can apply

You can apply on behalf of a non-commercial society, such as:

  • a charitable organization
  • a society or club set up for, or supporting: sport, athletic of a cultural activity

Application and registration

Society lotteries can only be run for non-commercial purposes and not for personal or private gain

A society must be registered with a licensing authority throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted.  Parts 4 and 5 of Schedule 11 of the Act set out the requirements for registration of small society lotteries.

The society is required to be registered with the licensing authority in the area where their principal office is located.  If the licensing authority considers that the society’s principal office is situated in another area it shall inform the society as soon as possible and also notify the other appropriate licensing authority.

The application must be in the form prescribed by regulations and will need to be accompanied by fee of £40.00.

The licensing authority will record details of the society and keep the details on a register.  Whilst this does not have to be a public register, the Gambling Commission have recommended that licensing authorities make the register available to the public on request.

As soon as the licensing authority has granted the registration, we will notify the applicant and inform the Commission accordingly.

How much does it cost

The application fee for initial registration is £40. Once registered the society needs to pay an annual fee of £20, this fee needs to be paid within two months before each anniversary of the date of registration.

Failure to pay the renewal fee is likely to result in the society’s registration being cancelled meaning that any lottery activity will be illegal unless and until a new application under the Gambling Act 2005 has been granted. It is the society’s responsibility to ensure the annual fee is paid on time. Once a registration has been cancelled it cannot be reactivated a fresh application would have to be made and a new application fee of £40 paid.

How to apply

If your non-commercial society wants to run a small society lottery you'll need to register this with us.

You'll need to fill in an application form and send this to us. 

You'll need to know:

  • the details of the society applying and whether they are a registered charity
  • if the society has held an operating licence or had an operating licence refused or revoked 
  • contact details for correspondence

Start the journey

More info about the journey

If your society is a charity you'll need to know the registered charity number.

When we receive your application we'll check it to make sure it's been completed correctly. We'll contact you if there is anything else we need.

If your registration is granted you will receive this by email or post. 

We will only refuse an application for any of the following reasons:

  • in the previous five years either an operating licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked or an application for an operating licence by the applicant has been refused
  • the applicant is not a non-commercial society;
  • a person who will or may be connected with the promotion of the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence; or
  • information provided in or with the application for registration is false or misleading

If we feel that the registration should be refused then a hearing must be heard before members of the licensing sub-committee unless all parties agree this isn't necessary. The society will have a chance to speak at the hearing.

After the hearing we'll write to you with the decision.  

What you can do if you haven't heard from us

If at least 35 days have passed since you gave us your completed application and you haven't heard from us you can act as though your application is granted. 

If you are submitting your application by post then this will only apply when you can show proof of delivery from the Post Office or a recognised courier.

Time scales for processing an application do not start until all the necessary information has been received in full

Length of permit

A small society lottery registration will last indefinitely.

You'll need to pay an annual fee each year that is due no later than the anniversary of the registration.

What you can do if your application is unsuccessful

Please contact us in the first instance:  email



If an application for a registration is refused you can appeal.

All appeals must be made to a magistrates court within 21 days of notice of the decision:

North and East Devon Magistrates Court, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter, EX1 1UH

Tel: 01392 415300