Licence - Lottery

Gambling Act 2005

Please note we are no longer able to take cash payments at the Civic Centre for Registration Fees

The Gambling Act 2005 authorises the conduct of small lotteries (eg a sweepstake or draw, etc) by societies for raising money for charitable, sports and other similar purposes, otherwise than for private gain.  The society on whose behalf the lottery is promoted must first be registered for the purposes of Part 5 of Schedule 11 with the appropriate authority, and the lottery must be conducted in a manner complying with the Act.

Registration of Society

Society lotteries are lotteries promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society. A society is non-commercial if it is established and conducted:

  • for charitable purposes;  
  • or the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity,  
  • or any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain. 

If a society does not put on sale tickets or chances valued at more than £20,000 for any lottery and if it does not put on sale tickets or chances the value of which, when added to those sold or to be sold in all earlier lotteries in the same calendar year, amounts to over £250,000, application for registration should be made to the local authority within whose area the office or the head office of the particular society is situated; forms of application are available from the offices of the local authority, and when completed be returned to the authority, together  with the statutory fee of £40.  This fee is amended from time to time and it would be advisable to check with the authority as to the amount currently required to be paid on application for registration.

If a society wishes to run lotteries which will exceed the amounts mentioned above, then application for registration must be made to the Gambling Commission.  Once registered with the Gambling Commission, the society must promote all further lotteries (of whatever size) held in that or the following three calendar years under the Commission's registration, and will not be able to change to local authority registration during that time.

In the case of registration by the local authority, a certificate of registration will be issued by the authority to the society, unless they consider that registration should be refused because:-

  • an operating licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked or an application for an operating licence made by the applicant for registration has been refused, within the past 5 years. The Commission will be able to advise the details of people and organisations that have been refused an operating licence or have had an operating licence revoked within the last five years. Licensing authorities should consult the Commission as part of their consideration process.

Licensing authorities may also refuse an application for registration for any of the following reasons:

  • an operating licence held by the applicant for registration has been revoked or an application for an operating licence made by the applicant for registration has been refused, within the past 5 years. The Commission will be able to advise the details of people and organisations that have been refused an operating licence or have had an operating licence revoked within the last five years. Licensing authorities should consult the Commission as part of their consideration process.
  • the society in question cannot be deemed non-commercial. Under previous regimes licensing authorities often required applicants to provide a statement with their application form declaring that they represented a bona fide non-commercial society, and identifying how the purpose of the society could be established. The Commission believes that a similar approach remains appropriate. However, licensing authorities should also consider whether such a declaration is sufficient in the particular circumstances of each case or whether there are additional determining factors, such as an unusual or novel purpose of the society, which may suggest that further enquiry is needed. 
  • a person who will or may be connected with the promotion of the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence. Under previous regimes licensing authorities often required applicants to provide a statement alongside their application form declaring that they had no relevant convictions that would prevent them from running lotteries, the accuracy of which could then be verified with the police. The Commission believes that this scenario remains appropriate. 
  • information provided in or with the application for registration is found to be false or misleading.

If the authority propose to refuse to register the society they must first give the society an opportunity of being heard, and eventually notify their decision to the society.  If registration is finally refused the society has a right to appeal to the magistrates Court within 21 days of receipt of the notice of decision.

A licensing authority may determine to revoke the registration of a society if it thinks that they would have had to, or would be entitled to, refuse an application for registration if it were being made at that time. Revocations cannot take place unless the society has been given an opportunity to make representations at a hearing or via correspondence. 

Every registered society must pay to the local authority the annual fee of £20.00 which is payable within the period of two months which ends immediately before each anniversary of the registration.  At any time, however, the society may apply for its registration to be cancelled and the local authority must in any such case cancel the registration accordingly.

Conduct of Lotteries

As the purpose of permitted lotteries is to raise money for non-commercial causes, the Act requires that a minimum proportion of the money raised by the lottery is channelled to the goals of the society that promoted the lottery. If a small society lottery does not acquiesce with these limits it will be in breach of the Act's provisions, and consequently be liable for prosecution.

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 (schedule 11, paragraph 33); 
  • no single prize may be worth more than £25,000 (schedule 11, paragraph 34); 
  • rollovers between lotteries are only permitted where every lottery affected is also a small society lottery promoted by the same society, and the maximum single prize is £25,000 (schedule 11, paragraph 35); and
  • every ticket in the lottery must cost the same and the ticket fee must be paid to the society (i.e. the society must take payment) before entry into the draw is allowed. (schedule 11, paragraph 37).

The following conditions apply:- 

(a) the promoter of the lottery must be a member of the society authorised in writing by the governing body of the society to act as such; 

(b) the advice of the Home Office and the Gaming Board is that, to prevent confusion, no two lotteries should have the same date; however, this is not prevented by law and when the date of two or more lotteries promoted on behalf of one society is the same they must be distinguished by having different serial numbers printed on the tickets;

(c) every ticket distributed or sold must specify the name of the society, the name and address of the promoter, the price of the ticket (which must be the same for all tickets) and the date of the lottery. 

(d) every ticket distributed or sold in a lottery must also specify that the society is registered either with the local authority, in which case the name of the authority must be included;

(e) no ticket or chance may be sold by or to any person under the age of sixteen years;

(f) no ticket or chance may be sold by means of any machine, or to a person in any street (except by a person present in a kiosk or shop premises having no space for the accommodation of customers) and no ticket or chance may be sold in any licensed betting office;

g) no person may be admitted to participate in a lottery in respect of a ticket or chance except after payment to the society of the whole price of a ticket or chance, and no money received for or on account of a ticket or chance may in any circumstances be returned;

(h) no payment other than the price of a ticket or chance may be required of a person as a condition of his admission to participate in a society's lottery;

(i) the whole proceeds after deducting sums lawfully appropriated on account of expenses or for the provision of prizes, must be applied to the purposes of the society such as are described in paragraph 2 above;

(j) no person supplying lottery tickets may be requested or required to supply them in such manner, or so marked, as to enable a winning ticket (i.e. a ticket entitling the holder to claim a prize) to be identified as such before it is sold.  This regulation applies to tickets (commonly known as "instant lottery" tickets) which are manufactured or designed  so as to conceal such words, figures, symbols, etc, as would, if revealed, indicate whether a ticket is a winning ticket or not;

(k) prizes may be donated to a lottery at reduced cost or free, but the value of any such prizes must not exceed £25,000;

(l) the amount of the proceeds of a society's lottery appropriated for the provision of prizes and expenses together must not exceed 80%.

Any breach of these conditions constitutes an offence for which the promoter (unless the contravention took place without his or her knowledge) and any person who is a party thereto will be liable to prosecution, in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Act. 

Lottery Managers

External lottery managers are required to hold a lottery operator's licence issued by the Commission to manage any lottery, including small society lotteries registered with a licensing authority. 

However, individuals or firms can and do provide services to a society or local authority lottery without assuming the role of an external lottery manager. When determining whether a third party is a "service provider" only, or has assumed the role of external lottery manager, the degree of management undertaken by both the promoter and the sub-contractor will be crucial factors. Key indicators will include: 

  • who decides how the lottery scheme will operate;
  • who appoints and manages any sub contractors;
  • the banking arrangements for handling the proceeds of the lottery;
  • who controls the promotional aspects of the lottery; and
  • who sells the tickets and pays the prizes.

Societies employing an unlicensed external lottery manager commit an offence, and they will need to satisfy themselves that any external lottery manager they employ holds a lottery operator's licence issued by the Commission. This can be achieved by consulting the publicly-accessible register of operating licences held on the Commission's website, at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk. Licensing authorities should advise societies planning to use or already using an external lottery manager that they should do this, and may also wish to verify that it has been done.

Returns

When a lottery has been held, the promoter must send a return to the local authority, not later than the end of the third month after the date of the lottery.  Forms of return are available on request from the offices of the local authority and must comply with the terms or Paragraph 39 of schedule 11 of the Act.  The return must be certified by two members of the society (other than the promoter) being persons of full age appointed in writing by the governing body of the society. Failure to send a return in accordance with the statutory provisions constitutes an offence, and any person who knowingly gives or certifies any false information in such a return also renders himself liable to prosecution. 

The local authority may require that a society allows them to inspect and take copies of any documents or of any information kept otherwise than in documentary form (e.g. on a computer), relating to any lottery promoted on behalf of the society.  The authority may also require the society to give them such assistance as they may require to enable them to inspect and check the operation of any computer and any associated apparatus or material that is or has been used in connection with the keeping of information.

Further information. A copy of the Gambling Act 2005 can be inspected at the Council Offices, where you may also obtain application forms, return forms and further help or advice. 

FAQ

Can I appeal against a refusal to register a society? 

If the authority propose to refuse to register the society they must first give the society an opportunity of being heard, and eventually notify their decision to the society.  If registration is finally refused the society has a right to appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receipt of the notice of decision. 

How much does it cost to register? 

The current statutory fee of £40.  This fee is amended from time to time and it would be advisable to check with the authority as to the amount currently required to be paid on application for registration. There is an annual of £20.00 thereafter. 

How long is registration valid for? 

When applying for a registration the society must pay a registration fee. Each registration runs for 12 months. If the society wishes to continue to be registered they must pay to the local authority the annual fee of £20.00 which is payable within the period of two months which ends immediately before each anniversary of the registration. 

Are there any limits on prizes? 

The amount of the proceeds of a society's lottery appropriated for the provision of prizes and expenses together must not exceed 80%. 

What information needs to be on lottery tickets? 

Every ticket distributed or sold must specify the name of the society, the name and address of the promoter, the price of the ticket (which must be the same for all tickets) and the date of the lottery.  Every ticket distributed or sold in a lottery must also specify that the society is registered either with the local authority, in which case the name of the authority must be included. 

Are there any age restrictions? 

No ticket or chance may be sold to any person under the age of 16 years. 

Is there a limit on the price of tickets? 

The price of every ticket must be the same and printed on the ticket.

The society on whose behalf the lottery is promoted must first be registered with the Council if their Head Office is within Stafford Borough.

Where can I get an application form?

You can request an application form from the Licensing Section using the details at the top of the page or calling 01785 619402. Or you can access a pdf copy (pdf 15kb)

 

Contact
Tel: 01785 619402
Fax: 01785 619319
Email: ehlicensing@staffordbc.gov.uk
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