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Exempt Lotteries

Exempt Lotteries

It is unlawful for any person to promote a lottery except in particular circumstances. One of the categories of lawful lotteries is exempt lotteries.

There are four types of exempt lotteries:

Definition of Lottery

At its simplest, the following factors will constitute a lottery:

  • Persons are required to pay to participate
  • 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

What is a Society?

The Act does not define a "society". Usually it will be a club or some voluntary organisation which raises part of its funds by way of holding small lotteries. "Society" includes any branch of such a society.

The society must be established and conducted

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

A society may provide a benefit to one or more individuals provided it has been established for charitable purposes or in connection with sporting, athletic or cultural activities.

The proceeds of any lottery must be devoted to the purposes of the society.

What is a small lottery?

A lottery is a 'small lottery' if

  • the proceeds of a single lottery do not exceed £20,000 and the aggregate proceeds of lotteries held in any calendar year do not exceed £250,000,
  • the lottery is promoted for any of the purposes for which the promoting society is conducted,
  • at least 20% of the lottery proceeds must be applied for a purpose for which the society is conducted,
  • the maximum prize must not exceed £25,000. A prize can be in money, money's worth or a combination of both,
  • roll-overs are permitted but subject to the maximum prize limit of £25,000,
  • the maximum sum devoted to prizes and expenses must not exceed 80% of the total proceeds of the lottery,
  • donated prizes do not count as part of this 80% but should be declared on the return statement for the lottery draw.


Tickets must provide the following information:

  • Identity of the promoting society
  • Price of the ticket (there is no longer a maximum limit of £2.00 per ticket). The price for each ticket must be the same and must be paid before the ticket is supplied
  • Name and address of the promoter
  • Date of the draw

If the lottery is being conducted on-line, the ticket requirements are complied with provided that an electronic message containing the above information can be retained by the purchaser and printed.


Any society wishing to promote a small society lottery must be registered throughout the period of promotion with Clackmannanshire Licensing Board if the principal premises of the society are situated within Clackmannanshire.


Any society wishing to register with the Clackmannanshire Licensing Board should use the prescribed application form which can be downloaded from the website.

Applications forms are also available from the address noted at the bottom of this page.


The initial registration fee payable with the application is £40.00.

An annual fee of £20.00 is payable for every subsequent year that a society wishes to remain registered.

Grounds of refusal of registration

  • An operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission to the applicant for registration has been revoked.
  • An application for an operating licence by the applicant for registration has been refused by the Gambling Commission.
  • 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 (Schedule 7 to the Gambling Act 2005 contains a full list of relevant offences in summary).
  • Information provided in connection with the application is false or misleading.

The Licensing Board will not refuse an application for registration without giving the applicant an opportunity to make representations.

If the Board is minded to refuse a registration, the Licensing Administrator will write to the applicant explaining the reasons why it is minded to refuse registration and the evidence which has led to its view.

Following representations, the Board will inform the applicant whether it wishes to hold a formal hearing or whether it can determine the matter on the basis of correspondence.

In cases of complexity involving a dispute as to the facts or there are circumstances which cause the Board to consider that the matter can only be satisfactorily resolved by a formal hearing, the Board will fix a hearing. The applicant and an agent may appear at any hearing and will have a full opportunity to make representations and provide evidence in support of those representations. The applicant may be subject to questioning from the Chief Constable's representative and/or members of the Board.

If the Licensing Board refuses an application, the applicant may appeal the decision to Scottish Courts.

Filing of Records

  • A society which promotes a small society lottery must send the Licensing Board a statement containing certain particulars. The form can be downloaded from this website or can be obtained from the Licensing Administrator.
  • Statements must be lodged with the Licensing Administrator within 3 months of the date of the draw.
  • Statements require to be signed by 2 members of the society who are authorised by the society to sign statements. A copy of the authority must be lodged with the statement.

Statements will be available for inspection by the public between 9 am and 5pm at Greenfield, Tullibody Road, Alloa on payment of a fee of £40.00 for initial registration and thereafter £20.00 for annual renewal. Members of the public wishing to inspect small lottery statements should contact the Licensing Administrator.

Statements will also be posted on this website and may be viewed by members of the public and downloaded.

Social Responsibility

Societies participating in the promotion of lotteries should bear in mind that participation in a lottery is a form of gambling and societies must conduct their lotteries in a socially responsible manner and in accordance with The Gambling Act 2005.

  • Lottery tickets may only be sold by persons over the age of 16
  • Only persons over the age of 16 may be sold a lottery ticket

Societies should ensure that all persons selling lottery tickets on behalf of the society are aware of this provision and should have in place procedures to check the age of potentially underage purchasers of lottery tickets and for taking action where there are unlawful attempts to purchase tickets.

For Further Information Contact

Development & Environment Services
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 452093/ 450000