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Small society lotteries

A raffle or prize draw where tickets are printed and sold in advance requires a small society lottery registration with us.

If you run a small society lottery, you cannot have more than £20,000 worth of tickets on sale at any time and also must not exceed the £250,000 a year limit for ticket sales. If your society is to exceed the £250,000 a year limit, you will have to apply to the Gambling Commission for a licence.

An incidental non-commercial lottery is a raffle where tickets are sold and drawn on the same day. This is the kind of raffle that uses cloakroom tickets and is usually held at an event such as a school fetes, or quiz nights and the prizes are often donated. As long as the raffle is drawn on the same day, it does not require a licence or a registration.

A tombola would be considered an incidental non-commercial lottery and does not need a registration; however organisers should be aware that children should not be allowed to play if alcohol is included in the prizes.​​

How to apply

To apply for a small society lotteries licence you will need to complete the application form (PDF) [174KB] (opens new window) and return it to us with the relevant fee.

The fee can be paid by debit or credit card, or by cheque. Cheques should be made out to 'St Helens Council'.

Organisers must complete a lottery returns form (PDF) [37KB] (opens new window)  within three months of any draw, which lays out how much money was raised, how much used for expenses and how much paid to the charity.

Small society lottery fees
DescriptionFee
New application£40
Renewal application£20