Gambling and Lotteries

What is a lottery?

A lottery is a kind of gambling which has three essential ingredients:

  • You have to pay to enter the game

  • There is always at least one prize

  • Prizes are awarded purely on chance.

The Gambling Act 2005 has created eight types of lottery, each of which has it's own do's and don'ts. Amongst these there are five types of lottery that don't require any permissions. Find out more about these in Running a Lottery on the Gambling Commission's website. Please check this guidance to see if your planned lottery may be exempt and the conditions applicable to each sort of lottery.

Prize competitions and free draws are also free from control under the Gambling Act 2005. They can be run for commercial or private gain and can be used as a fun way of offering prizes or promoting a product. To ensure you stay legal please see information about running prize competitions and free draws. on the Gambling Commission's website.

Small Society Lotteries

A Small Society Lottery is a lottery that is promoted on behalf of a non-commercial society (such as a charity or similar non-profit making organisation) to raise funds for charitable, cultural or sporting purposes. There is a top limit of £20,000 for ticket sales. These lotteries require the applicants to register with the local authority in their area. Gambling Commission website.

Small Society Lottery Registration

A Society must be non-commercial. A society is defined as non-commercial if it is established and conducted:

  • For charitable purposes

  • For the purpose of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or cultural activity

  • For any other non-commercial purpose other than that of private gain

  • To remain a Small Society the total value of tickets sold must not exceed £20,000 in a single lottery, or tickets in separate lotteries in one calendar year must not exceed £250,000. If you exceed these amounts you will be classed as a Large Lottery and will be required to apply for a licence from by the Gambling Commission.


Application forms can be obtained by contacting the Licensing Section.

The following fees will apply:

Registration of a Small Society Lottery: £40.00
Annual renewal of a registration: £20.00

New Small Society Lottery Registrations run for a year from the date of issue, you will be notified before the expiry date inviting you to continue the registration.

Once you have held the Lottery/Draw you will need to complete a Returns Form and submit it to the Licensing Section. 

Further Information

If you require any further information or advice about Small Society Lottery  Registration please contact the Licensing department using the contact details below:-

Erewash Borough Council
Licensing Office
Civic Centre
Derby Road
Long Eaton
NG10 1HU
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call: 0115 9071113
Fax: 0115 9071121