FAQs online raffles
With event restrictions still in place, you might want
to run your Christmas raffle online instead. We asked Joanne
Cartwright from the Gambling Commission to talk us through the
Would a PTA be allowed to sell raffle tickets online?
Any lottery tickets sold online can only lawfully be done so
under a society lottery licence issued by the Gambling Commission,
or a registration issued by a local authority (for a small
lottery). A PTA does not need to be a registered charity in order
to do this, but must be a non-commercial (ie. not- for-profit)
organisation, with stated purposes that are for sporting, cultural,
charitable or any other good cause.
What type of licence would the PTA need to hold?
This depends on the size of the lotteries planned, and the
amount of tickets the PTA proposes to sell in a calendar year. Most
PTAs would be running a small lottery, so will just need a
registration from the local authority where the PTA main
administration office is located. If, however, ticket sales exceed
£20,000 in any single lottery, or £250,000 in a calendar year, a
society (large) lottery licence from the Gambling Commission is
Are there any restrictions on how payments for tickets can be
You cannot accept credit card payments online or by telephone if
you hold a Gambling Commission-issued licence. But there are
generally no such restrictions for local authority-registered
lotteries. Societies should not charge more for players to
participate by one particular payment method over another.
Would physical (paper) raffle tickets need to be issued?
Tickets can be sent by email or other electronic means providing
they meet the ticketing requirements laid out in the Gambling Act
2005, and can be retained or printed.
What information needs to be included on the raffle
Tickets must show the name of the promoting society, the ticket
price, the name and address of the organiser and the date of the
draw. The ticket or document confirming entry into a lottery must
also state the name and address of a member of the society who has
responsibility for the promotion of the lottery. For Gambling
Commission licensed lotteries it must also state 'licensed by the
Gambling Commission' and a link to the Gambling Commission
Do we need to generate individually numbered tickets?
All entrants into a lottery become part of a class from where
winners are determined. Tickets (or documents confirming entry into
a lottery) must be able to determine those individual entrants and
identify the winning tickets drawn. There are no specific
requirements around unique numbers or how tickets are generated,
provided the information on tickets is compliant with the specific
Are there any regulations governing how the draw is made?
There are no restrictions on where a lottery is drawn, providing
societies can explain how winners are determined and demonstrate
how this is done fairly. A verified RNG (random number generator)
could be used, for example. However, if the society has ticket
sales of over £250,000 a year then they have to comply with
specific technical standards around the testing of RNGs. Societies
with Gambling Commission-issued licences must also adhere to
specific requirements around transparency of the draw, how winners
are determined and prizes allocated, the use of proceeds and the
proportion going to good causes. For further information, visit gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
Are there any restrictions on the prizes that can be
Small society lotteries cannot offer a prize worth more than
£25,000 (even if the prize is donated). Societies should ensure
lottery prizes that are age-restricted (such as alcohol, driving
experiences, minimum-age events) are not awarded to anyone unable
to prove they are above the designated age for that prize. Such age
restrictions should be clearly indicated on tickets and
advertising. We also recommend you seek guidance from the police on
prizes that may have age or other restrictions (such as requiring a
driving licence or a gun licence).
For more information
PTAs should familiarise themselves with the information
available on the Gambling Commission website (gamblingcommission.gov.uk). For a simple table
laying out the rules and regulations, see gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/quick-guides/Running-a-lottery-quick-guide.pdf.
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