Lottery Duty and exemptions

Lottery Duty is a 12 per cent duty on taking a chance or ticket in a lottery promoted in the UK.


Exemptions from Lottery Duty include the following:

  • Incidental non-commercial lotteries – commonly held at charity fund raising events, such as a bazaar, a fete, sporting or athletic event, dinner, etc. This will cover lottery tickets sold at football club annual dinners, Brownie fundraising events, etc.
    • They must be promoted wholly for a purpose other than private gain.
    • No more than £500 can be used from the proceeds of the lottery to buy prizes, but the value of donated prizes has no limit.
    • Tickets must only be sold and the results announced in each case at the event and while the event is taking place.
    • Similarly, no more than £100 can be used from the proceeds to pay for organising the lottery
  • Small society lotteries – this is a lottery promoted wholly on behalf of a society 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 that of private gain.
    • This is subject to various conditions set out in the Gambling Act 2005, such as the proceeds cannot be more than £20,000, and at least 20 per cent of the proceeds of the lottery are applied to a purpose for which the society is conducted.

Licensing and registration

These types of lottery do not need a Gambling Commission license.

A small society lottery must be registered with the local authority in the area where the society’s principal premises are situated, and the licensee must comply with various regulatory procedures e.g. within three months of the last day of any lottery draw taking place, the licensee must send to the local authority a statement/return showing such particulars as arrangements for the lottery, the proceeds of the lottery and amounts deducted by the promoters.

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