Changes to Society Lotteries Announced

New transparency requirements for society lottery ticket sales are being introduced. All society lotteries after 04 April 2018 will be subject to new rules. This follows the growing trend to increase the level of transparency for all charitable fundraising.

When are Society Lotteries allowed?

A society is non-commercial if it is for charitable purposes, for sport, athletics or cultural activities or for any other non-commercial purpose. It cannot be for private gain.

Large society lotteries require a licence from the Gambling Commission. For these purposes, large lotteries raise over £20,000 per draw, or £250,000 in any one year. Small scale society lotteries require a local authority licence, and each local authority has its own registration requirements which are normally published by the relevant licensing department.

Some other types of lottery are allowed, including those where tickets are not sold to the general public. Other skill based competitions are not considered to be lotteries at all, and are not subject to these regulations.

What are the changes?

From 4 April 2018 all society lotteries will have to:

  • make it clear to consumers before they buy a lottery ticket exactly which society or charity the lottery proceeds are going to
  • publish what proportion of money raised from lottery ticket sales in the previous year was returned directly for the purposes of the society.

The UK’s Gambling Commission publishes guidance for Society Lotteries here.

If you need help with fundraising regulations, please contact us.