Register a lottery/raffle

red, green and yellow numbered lottery balls

If you run a small society and want to operate a lottery or raffle you will need to be registered with Cheltenham Borough Council, unless you fall into one of the exemption categories listed below. A full list of lottery types is available on the Gambling Commission's website.

Definition of a lottery

A lottery is an arrangement where:

  • people pay to take part
  • one or more prizes can be won
  • winners are chosen wholly on chance

This includes, for example duck races, film race nights, cloakroom tickets sold at private clubs, sweepstakes and raffles.

Small society lotteries

A small society lottery must be non-commercial, that is:

  • for charitable purposes
  • for the purpose of allowing participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity
  • for any other purpose other than private gain

Limits on the size of a small society lottery

The total value of tickets must not exceed £20,000 for a single lottery or £250,000 for one year.

Find more information on running a lottery.

Registering a small society lottery

Before you apply to register your lottery with us, please read the full guidance.

You need to give us:

The registration is for an unlimited period and does not have an expiry date. However there is an annual fee which must be paid before the anniversary of the society being registered. A reminder will be emailed approximately two months before the annual renewal date. If you fail to pay this fee your registration will stop and you will need to apply for a new registration.

Once you have carried out your lottery, you will need to send a return statement to us with details of the amounts raised. This should be returned no later than 3 months after the date of the lottery.

Help with your application

The Gambling Commission have written some advice on running a lottery.


Further details on the lottery types below can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Private society lotteries

This exemption allows any group or society (except those set up for gambling) to hold a lottery where the sales of tickets are limited to the members of that group or society. Tickets can't be sold and the lottery can't be advertised to anyone outside of the group or society. The proceeds of the lottery must go to the purposes of the society and must not be used for private gain.

Work lotteries

These can only be run and played by colleagues at a particular place of work. This type of lottery cannot make a profit, and is unsuitable for fundraising.

Residents' lotteries

These are similar to work lotteries as they can only be run and played by people living at a particular address. Again this type of lottery cannot make a profit, and is unsuitable for fundraising.

Customer lotteries

A lottery that can only be run by a business, at its own premises and for its own customers. No prize can be more than £50 in value. This type of lottery cannot make a profit, and is unsuitable for fundraising.

Incidental non-commercial lotteries

These are held at non-commercial events, such as school fetes etc. All ticket sales and the draw, must take place during the main event, which may last more than a single day. Prizes cannot total more than £500 and no more than £100 of the proceeds can be deducted for expenses, such as printing tickets or hiring equipment.