Gambling policy Part C

Small Society Lotteries

Under the Act, a lottery is unlawful unless it runs under an operating licence or is an exempt lottery of which there are four types. The Council will register and administer small society lotteries as defined under the Act. Promoting or facilitating a lottery will fall into two categories: (i) licensed lotteries (requiring an operating licence from the Gambling Commission); or (ii) exempt lotteries (including small society lotteries registered with the Council)

Exempt lotteries are lotteries permitted to run without a licence from the Gambling Commission and are defined as:

  • small society lotteries
  • incidental non-commercial lotteries
  • private lotteries
  • private society lottery
  • work lottery
  • residents’ lottery
  • customers’ lottery

Advice regarding the definitions of an exempt lottery is available from the Gambling Commission’s website

Applicants for registration of small society lotteries must apply to the licensing authority in the area in which their principal office is located. The Council will not register a lottery where the principal office is not located within the borough of Welwyn Hatfield.

Lotteries will be regulated through a licensing and registration scheme with conditions imposed on licences by the Gambling Commission, Codes of Practice and any Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission. In exercising its functions with regard to small society and exempt lotteries, the Council will have due regard to the Commission's Guidance.

The Council may refuse an application for a small society lottery registration if, in their opinion:

  • the applicant is not a non-commercial society
  • a person who will or may be connected with the promotion of the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence as defined in Section 353 of the Act
  • information provided in or with the application for registration is false or misleading

In assessing whether or not a society meets the requirement of being noncommercial, the Council will have regard to the non-submission of annual lottery returns as part of the renewal process. Failure to submit a return may be considered as evidence that the society does not meet the necessary criteria.

The Council is likely to revoke the registered status of a society if it thinks that they would have had to, or would be entitled to, refuse an application for registration if it were being made at that time. No revocations will take place unless the society has been given the opportunity to make representations.