Also known as draws or raffles, a lottery is often a good way to raise funds for charitable purposes although there are many restrictions covering these activities. Broadly, any distribution of prizes where the participants provide money to obtain the chance to win a prize where no degree of skill or judgement has to be demonstrated is a lottery. No lottery may be conducted for private gain. Apart from the National Lottery, there are only four types of lottery which are legal.

  • Incidental Non-Commercial Lottery
    e.g. where tickets are sold as part of an event, but not in advance; only those attending the event can purchase tickets.
  • Private Lotteries
    e.g. lottery held at a work place or in a residents association
  • Customer Lotteries
    e.g. lottery held in a business premises; the event cannot be advertised outside the premises; limited prize draw

No permit is required to hold any of the three lotteries above.

  • Small Society Lotteries
    e.g. tickets sold in advance of a draw to members of the public.

A Small Society permit is required to hold this sort of event. 

  Apply or renew a lottery licence


New permits cost £40 and last 12 months from the date of issue. Permits can be renewed to the cost of £20.


Details of Lottery Returns must be submitted no later than three months beginning with the day on which the draw (or the last draw) in the lottery took place.

  Download the lottery return form

Lottery Information
Information on running a lottery within Torbay
Lottery Regulations
Information for the guidance of small society lotteries