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Lotteries

The definition of a lottery

A lottery is a kind of gambling that has three essential elements:

  • payment is required to participate;
  • one or more prizes are awarded;
  • prizes are awarded by chance (and require no skill, judgement or knowledge).

There are two categories

Simple lottery

  • People must pay to participate in the arrangement.
  • In the course of the arrangement, one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class.
  • The prizes are allocated by a process which relies wholly on chance.

Complex lottery

  • People must pay to participate in the arrangement.
  • In the course of the arrangement, one or more prizes are allocated to one or more members of a class.
  • The prizes are allocated by a series of processes and the first of those processes relies wholly on chance.

Types of lotteries

A lottery is unlawful unless it is run in accordance with an operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission or it is an exempt lottery. The exceptions are:

  • incidental non-commercial lotteries (run as an additional amusement at non-commercial events, with tickets sold only during the event, such as a raffle at a dance or church fair;
  • private lotteries (restricted to members of a society, a place of work or a single residential unit, for example,-- a raffle at a student hall of residence);
  • customer lotteries (run by occupiers of a business for the benefit of the customers who buy tickets sold on the premises, for example a supermarket holding a hamper raffle);
  • small society lotteries (run for charitable purposes but not for private gain)
  • large society lotteries (require an operators licence from the Gambling Commission if the total ticket sales exceed £20,000 or the proceeds of previous lotteries in the same calendar year exceed £250,000)
  • remote lottery (requires a operators licence from the Gambling Commission if players are allowed to participate by means of internet, telephone etc)

The Licensing Unit's responsibility

Medway Council's Licensing Unit is responsible for the registration of small society lotteries in Medway. These are non-commercial societies established and conducted for:

  • charitable purposes;
  • the purpose of enabling participation in or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity;
  • any other non-commercial purpose other than private gain.

Further information

 

For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: Licensing Services - 01634 337107 or 337108 / Enforcement - 01634 337112 or 337106 or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR