Running a small society lottery

A small society lottery is one which is promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society, such as a charity or similar non-profit making organisation, to raise funds.

The maximum prize value per ticket is £25,000.

Small society lotteries do not require licences but they must be registered with the licensing authority covering the area of the society's principal premises.

For societies in the Runnymede area, you can download an application form

PDF icon Register a lottery application form

Please complete this and send it to us along with any relevant documents and fee.


What is a Small Society Lottery

A Small Society Lottery is a lottery which is promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society (such as charity or similar non-profit making organisation) to raise funds for any of the purposes for which the society or organisation is set up.

An application to register a Small Society Lottery must be made to the council in the area where the society's principal premises is situated. It should be on the prescribed application form and accompanied by the initial registration fee of £40.

There is an annual renewal fee of £20, payable within 2 months prior to the renewal date.

The requirements for small society lotteries are set out below:

Maximum prize

The following information must appear on all the tickets printed for the lottery

  • the identity of the promoting society/charity
  • the price of the ticket (all tickets must be the same price)
  • the name and address of the member of the society who is designated as having responsibility for the promotion of the lottery or
  • the name and address of the external organization that is promoting the lottery on behalf of the society
  • the date of the draw

It is possible for the society to provide the lottery 'ticket' by way of an electronic document but it must be in a format whereby it can be either printed off or electronically stored by the person who bought it. All tickets must be paid for before they are dispatched.


The proceeds of an individual small society lottery must not exceed £20,000 and the aggregate proceeds of several individual lotteries in one calendar year (January - December) must not exceed £250,000. If the proceeds are likely to exceed these amounts then a different registration/licence is required which must be obtained from the Gambling Commission. A minimum of 20% of the proceeds of a Small Society Lottery must be applied to a purpose for which the society is conducted.

Once an application has been received and processed we will issue a Small Society Lotteries Registration Certificate. We will also notify the Gambling Commission of the registration. The registration is subject to an annual fee (see separate fees document). After the first year of registration the annual fee must be paid within two months of the anniversary of the registration. We will write to the society when the fee is due however it is always best to make a note of the date and be aware that the fee is due.


Within three months of the last day of any lottery draw taking place, the registered society must send to the Licensing Section a statement/return showing such particulars as arrangements for the lottery, the proceeds of the lottery and amounts deducted by the promoters. A separate form on which to do this is available from the Licensing Section. The return must be signed by two adults who are members of the society and have been appointed in writing by the society (or its Governing Body) for that purpose. A copy of the appointment must be lodged with the Licensing Section. Once received the return is retained for at least 18 months and is available to be viewed by members of the public during this time.

If you would like copies of application forms please visit the Licensing Section on our website. Alternatively you can telephone 01932 838383 or email 

Further information can also be sought from the Gambling Commission website 

PDF icon Lottery returns form

PDF icon Change of promoter

Please note: This has been drafted for general information purposes. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the Authority accepts no liability for any error or omission. If you have any queries on licensing requirements you should contact the Licensing Section, the Gambling Commission or your own legal adviser for advice.

Get in touch about licensing

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.