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Promoting lotteries

Lotteries in Great Britain can only be promoted for charities and other good causes. They cannot be promoted for private or commercial gain.

The rules around promoting a lottery depend on which country you are in. Before you begin to promote your lottery, make sure you are aware of the correct rules.

Promoting lotteries in Great Britain

  • Great Britain is England, Scotland and Wales.

  • Although lotteries in Great Britain can only be promoted by charities, good causes and local authorities, there are some exemptions. These exemptions apply to some lotteries run by private clubs, resident lotteries and workplace lotteries, or for fundraising at commercial or charity events. 

  • Lotteries run by businesses for their customers cannot be used for fundraising.

  • Each society or local authority lottery must return a minimum of 20% of the proceeds to the charity or good cause. 

  • Lotteries must give customers information about how the money raised is used by each lottery.

  • Lotteries must give information about the amount of lottery proceeds (such as ticket sales) that have been returned to good causes in the previous calendar year.

Promoting multiple society lotteries

You can read our advice on promoting multiple society lotteries. It includes our advice about some of the factors we can take into consideration when making decisions about whether the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) are met in a particular lottery scheme.

It contains advice on relevant regulations, licence conditions and codes of practice. 

It also gives more information on what is part of a branded lottery scheme, and what operators are required to do when promoting lotteries through these schemes.

Society lotteries and external lottery managers

Society lotteries and external lottery managers (ELMs) that want to promote individual society lotteries under one brand must ensure that those lotteries are not combined to form one single lottery. This could be a breach of the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

They must also make sure that customers are provided with enough information so that they can make an informed decision about whether they want to support the good cause or not.

It must be clear to customers that although there may be a common brand, they are participating in individual society lotteries and be informed of which lottery they are taking part in.

Information about the promoting society lottery should be available in any marketing or advertising material.

Offering lottery, gaming and betting products under common branding

You should read our advice on offering lottery, gaming and betting products under common branding (PDF)

It includes advice about the rules we use in licensing and regulating those who want to combine promoting a lottery with providing facilities for other tyes of gambling.

Files

Some files may be not be accessible for users of assistive technology. If you require a copy of the file in an accessible format contact us with details of what you require. It would help us to know what technology you use and the required format.

Promoting lotteries in countries outside of Great Britain

  • The Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) neither allows nor disallows a lawfully promoted lottery from being promoted in another country.

  • Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have their own gambling laws.

  • If you promote a lottery in Great Britain and want to promote it in another country, including sending tickets or application forms, you should contact the relevant authorities in that country first.

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How to run a lottery or fundraiser
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How to run a small society lottery