POSTED BY Sally Thomas | Nov, 08, 2019 |

What Is A Lottery?

Make A Smile are here to help out with lotteries for your charity but there are other varieties of lottery that can run legally in the UK. A lottery is a fun way of raising money that works. Everyone wants a chance to win and if the cost of entry is low enough anyone can find takers for a lottery.

Have you ever played a sweepstake at work? That’s a form of lottery.

How about a raffle at a village fair? You guessed it, another lottery.

In fact if a game has a cost to enter. And someone who enters is awarded a prize; You have a lottery.

Contact the experts if you’re interested in figuring out a broad lottery that runs periodically – here. If you would like to know more about small scale lotteries for members of a club or visitors at an event or business then please read on.

Can I Run A Lottery That Doesn’t Need Permission From The Gambling Commission

Shop or business

If you have a shop or business then a small lottery, raffle or tombola for customers could be an interesting and unique way to promote a product, sale or event. The good news is that you can run something without speaking to the Gambling Commission. There are some things to take into consideration though. You are not allowed to profit from the lottery. You can claim back costs though. The lottery can only be open to 16 year olds and above and you mustn’t advertise or sell lottery tickets away from your business premises. Also, the prize cannot have a value greater than £50.

Private club or society

Are you involved in the running of a private club or society. Maybe you are part of a bowls club or a board game society? Good news, you can run a lottery, raffle or tombola and keep all the profit for you club. The people who play must be members or be on the club premises. You can claim back costs too. There is no age requirement for this type of event. The money raised must be for the club or society, nothing else.


A lottery type event in a workplace for the employees doesn’t require permission from the Gambling Commission. But, there are a couple of stipulations. The employees of the business must be the only players. The lottery, tombola or raffle must be run at a single business location only. The profit may be claimed only if the lottery was in aid of a charity or good cause. Running costs may be claimed from the takings.


If you’d like to run a lottery type event at a place where people live, for the residents. An example would be a care home. You can do so without asking permission. The rules are actually the same as the workplace rules above.


The final category of lottery type event would be an incidental one. Examples of these range from a jobs fayre at a town hall, to a festival or even a county fair. Think of it as a one-off concern.  Potential players must be physically attending the event but can be of any age. The profit can be 100% taken but only £100 max can be used for expenses. A maximum of £500 can be claimed back for prizes.

This information is all available in more depth on the following website : Gambling Commission