Raffles, totes and lotteries licensing

The promotion of lotteries (this covers raffles and totes) is governed by the Gambling Act 2005.

Societies must fill out a  if they wish to hold certain lotteries in accordance with the act.


Societies must register if they wish to hold a raffle where the tickets are sold prior to the day of the draw. The tickets must be pre-printed bearing the name of the local authority (council), the name of the society, the name and the address of the promoter and the date on which the draw is to take place. Following the draw, the promoter must complete a returns form, which shows details of money spent on expenses and prizes and how much money was raised. The society cannot spend more than 80% of the total proceeds on prizes.


If only members of the society hold tote numbers, this is classed as a private lottery and is exempt from the act. If, however, members of the public take part in the tote, then the society must register, and submit a return of expenses form. Again, they cannot spend more than 80% of the total proceeds on prizes.


Societies who register under the act have to pay a fee of £40 and complete an application form. The registration can be renewed each year for a fee of £20. We have 28 days from receipt to process the application; we provide societies with a registration certificate. A register is available at the council offices for public inspection.

‌The following types of lottery do not require registration:

  • A private lottery, where the sale of tickets is strictly restricted to members of a society only, such as a rugby club or a sports and social club
  • A small lottery incidental to an exempt entertainment, where tickets are sold and prizes are drawn at the same event, such as a social dinner or bazaar

Contact us

Newark and Sherwood District Council
Castle House
Great North Road
NG24 1BY


01636 650000

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    Castle House
    Great North Road
    NG24 1BY

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