The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content
This is new
Is this page helpful?

Fundraising and lotteries on social media

You may have seen lotteries being promoted on social media, but this does not mean that are being ran legally.

Lotteries also include:

  • raffles
  • sweepstakes
  • some competitions.

These are all forms of gambling and are subject to laws on how they are run.

The only lotteries that can be advertised online are those run under a licence or registration with a local authority, or a lottery being run at a physical event with the tickets being sold at that event.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) it is a criminal offence to run an illegal lottery and you could face prosecution.

If convicted you could be fined or imprisoned. You could also be breaking the terms and conditions of the site which could lead to your profile being removed.

You need a licence to run an online lottery

This includes lotteries on social media, auction or selling sites, fundraising platforms and live streaming platforms.

If you are considering running a lottery online, make sure it is lawful. You can apply for a licence from the Gambling Commission.

Previous page
Fundraising, raffles and lotteries
Next page
Fundraising and lotteries at events