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Find out about lotteries and how your society, club or charity can apply to hold a small scale lottery.

Lotteries are arrangements where people pay to participate for the chance of winning a prize. Raffles, tombolas, sweepstakes are all types of lotteries. 

A code of practice for lotteries can be viewed on the Gambling Commission website.

As a local authority, we keep a register of organisations running small society lotteries (lotteries with proceeds of less than  £20,000 per lottery or £250,000 in a calendar year). Most charities fall into this category.

Apply for a small society lottery

To apply for a small society lottery, complete our  icon registration form [158.22KB] and return to: Licensing, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB.

Payment can be made by credit card/debit card by calling Customer Services on 01483 505050. 

  • Cost of registering for a small society lottery: £40
  • Annual renewal fee: £20.


Your tickets must show:

  • the name of the society benefiting from the lottery
  • price of the ticket
  • name and address of the member of the society organising the lottery
  • date of the draw. 

Other types of lotteries

Large society lottery

Lotteries with proceeds exceeding £20,000 per lottery or £250,000 in a calendar year are regulated by the Gambling Commission.

Exempt lotteries

  1. Incidental lotteries can be held at both non-commercial and commercial events to raise money for charities and other good causes but they cannot be operated for private or commercial gain. Lottery results can be announced during or after the event. Tickets can only be sold at the event and while it is taking place
  2. Private society, work or residents' lotteries allow tickets to be sold to society members, workers in or residents of premises. Private society lotteries can be promoted by members of a private society for any charitable or non-commercial purpose. Work or residents' lotteries can be used for fundraising for any purpose other than private or commercial gain
  3. Customer lotteries are run by occupiers of business premises selling tickets only to customers on the premises itself. The majority of lotteries conducted at a local level will fall under the Incidental Non-Commercial Lottery exemption or they will need to register as a small society lottery (see above).

For more information, contact the Licensing Team on 01483 444371 or email regulatoryservices@guildford.gov.uk.