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House Raffle UK: Lottery or Illegal Gambling?

As the trend in house raffles increases you might be planning to raffle off your home. Raffling off a property is a popular way of selling up but do UK house raffles gamble with the law?

HOUSE RAFFLE LAWS: The Gambling Commission issued a warning.

In fact, betting on house raffles could be in breach of gambling regulations.

In some cases, home owners could be facing a hefty fine or almost one year in prison.

The growing trend is seeing many homeowners choosing novel ways to sell properties. Some are using prize draws, raffles, and competitions.

In most cases, no estate agents will mean more money for the seller. But there some pitfalls to be aware of when raffling off a home.

Note: The UK Gambling Commission warns that it may be violating the country’s gambling laws.

How Do Dream House Raffles Work?

There is a typical scenario of how a dream house raffle works. The home owner sells lots of tickets by running a raffle. Of course, they would nominate their property as the prize.

The draw takes place once a predetermined number of tickets get sold. The raffle winner gets the home keys and ownership of the property.

There are reports of some home owners making more than the original asking price. Using these methods has seen some vendors profit by a triple of the standard asking price.

Sounds simple right? Beware because it is anything but simple! A large number of these home raffles flout the strict gambling laws in the United Kingdom.

Laws on Raffling a House

The exact legalities of the situation are quite complicated. There is one specific problem that house raffles may encounter.

In some cases, raffling off a home does not involve an element of skill.

The UK laws on raffles and lotteries are clear. Competitions based on luck ‘alone‘ cannot raise money for private individuals.

This type of ‘lucky draw‘ can only raise money for a charity – such as a lottery.

How to Make Your House Raffle Legal

It needs to involve an element of skill. It must also offer the opportunity for people to enter the draw without a charge. There are certain other requirements too such as ensuring:

  • People cannot enter if they live in a country where the raffle is illegal.
  • The raffle gets conducted in a transparent manner and with fairness.
Illegal House Raffle Penalties

There are severe penalties for breaching the rules on house raffles. The Gambling Commission can issue a £5000 fine and a jail term up to 51 weeks.

In some cases, your local council can intervene and they can force you to cancel. They have some basic advice for homeowners who may consider setting up a house raffle. They should discuss the plan with a legal expert to avoid the risk of breaching the UK gambling laws.


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House Raffle UK: Is Raffling a House a Lottery or Illegal Gambling?