This information is for anyone planning to raise money through a legal raffle or lottery. Selling numbered tickets to win prizes is a way of running legalized raffles.
RAFFLE LAWS UK: Running a raffle or lotto is a method of raising funds.
It produces a kitty through the sale of specified and numbered raffle tickets.
Participants draw them at random so that the winning holder or holders claim a prize.
Raffles Rules vs. Lotteries Rules
Some raffles are a legal type of lottery. Whereas others may get drawn alongside lotteries - feel a little confused?
The basic function of raffles, fete tombolas, and lotteries are similar in many ways. But, there are a handful of significant and fundamental differences between these types of money raisers.
Lottery rules usually allow you to choose your own numbers.
There is always a guaranteed jackpot winner according to raffle rules and regulations.
A legal raffle is generally run with time constraints.
As a rule, there are a limited number of tickets available in raffles.
Typically, lottery jackpots grow in prize money, whereas raffle jackpots are set at a fixed return.
Selling Raffle Tickets Rules
Wondering how to sell raffle tickets? Each raffle ticket must specify:
The name of the organisation running the draw. The tickets should also show the date and place for drawing the numbers.
The name and address of the promoter. This must be a named individual with a full postal address (but not necessarily a private address).
The price of a ticket. Raffle tickets legal requirements state the prices must all be the same for each voucher.
Charity Raffle Rules: Registered charities must state either their Charity Number or state 'A Registered Charity'.
Running a Raffle for Profit: Is a Raffle Legal?
The Gambling Act 2005 supercedes the 'Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976' and now oversees the legalities of lotteries and some prize draws in the United Kingdom.
Check out the 'Gambling Commission' website for further information. It has comprehensive details on the complex UK raffle laws, lotteries, and tombolas.
There are important raffle rules and regulations that operators must abide by. It depends on what type of raffle, lotto, or tombola (usually held at a fairground) you are organising. But, failure to do so can end in prosecution by the legal authorities of the United Kingdom.
You can also contact the local council department. They can provide extra guidance on the requirements to run a raffle legally in the UK. Councils will also help operators to secure a raffle licence (where applicable).
The organisation running the draw must register with the local authority if tickets are on sale to the general public.
The local authority's name is no longer required to show on the ticket. But, the promoter is still responsible for ensuring the raffle complies with the law under the 2005 Gambling Act.
You must sell tickets (and raffle ticket books) for the price printed on the actual slip. Note: Selling raffle tickets at a discount or giving them out for free is illegal.
There should be a recognizable and unique reference number on every ticket.
The promoter of the raffle must keep track of all ticket sales.
Raffle and lottery promoters are responsible for how they get run and must ensure official records get kept. The records refer to where all tickets got sold and how many.
Raffles requiring a licence should have the 'return' report submitted to the relevant authority. This must take place within the specified time limit stating how many tickets got printed and sold. Check with your local council for details.
Drawing the Raffle
Your raffle draw should take place at that same event location if you are organising a small lottery incidental to a specific event.
Society Lottery draws may be as low-key or as high profile as you wish. That means you can hold the draw as part of an event or simply hold it at an allotted place and time.
Following a Society Lottery draw, you should immediately notify all winners. That includes sending out their prizes once their address details get confirmed.
Raffle results should be openly publicized. But, publish them in a way that ensures addresses of the winners are not identifiable.
You must announce to all ticket holders exactly where and when a public lottery draw will take place.
High value or newsworthy prizes may attract a local VIP or press reporters. They will be keen to report any award and the prize giving ceremony to the lucky winners.
Lottery Operating Licence
There are two principle types of raffle licence that you may need to get from the Gambling Commission.
They get issued to those who want to run or promote a large society lottery or for community authorities to carry out their lotteries. The licence will be either an operating licence or a personal management licence.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Gambling Duties | A guide listing the current gaming and betting duty bands with gambling duty rates.
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Online Raffle Laws UK
You may also need a remote gambling licence. They are for organisers of a lottery by means of remote electronic communication. As a rule, participants in this type of online raffle use the Internet or a telephone.
There are some circumstances in which you do not need a lottery operating licence. But, you cannot run them for private or commercial gain. These are some common events where you do not need a lottery operating licence:
Small society lottery
Incidental non-commercial lottery
Private society lottery
Lottery ticket machines
Prize competitions and free draws
Fundraising (except large society lotteries)
The Gambling Commission
Set up under the Gambling Act 2005, the Gambling Commission regulates commercial gambling in Great Britain. The Gambling Act 2005 came into full force on the 1st of September 2007.
It is an independent non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. They have over 200 employees who are mostly based in Birmingham.
This includes over 60 compliance and enforcement managers working across Great Britain. The work of the Gambling Commission gets funded by fees which get paid by the operators that it licenses.
Raffle Rules and Regulations: Lottery Laws in the United Kingdom