Gambling Commission issues warning over festive lotteries

11 November 2019

The GB Gambling Commission has warned organisations running charity lottery games over the Christmas period to ensure they are operating lawfully in order to avoid any potential legal action.

The regulatory body said many lotteries and related games including raffles and tombolas are staged during the festive season, but all are subject to certain laws.

Organisations running these games must, according to the Commission, only do so for charitable purposes and not for private gain.

The organisation that sells tickets prior to a lottery, raffle or tombola, or away from the place where the event is being held, will need to secure a licence from the Commission or register with their local authority.

The Commission said there are limits as to how much organisations can spend on ticket sales for a single prize, but there are no limits on donated prizes. All tickets must cost the same, unless they are run at a specific event, which would mean they are classed as incidental lotteries.

For businesses running a lottery for their customers, they cannot do so for profit or good causes. All money collected from tickets sales for such a draw must be spent on prizes or expenses.

In addition, the Commisison said organisaitons cannot roll over unallocated or unclaimed prizes to another lottery unless they are running a lottery under a Commission licence or local authority registration.

Image: Andrew Skudder