Organise a Raffle, Draw or Lottery
Before you run a raffle, prize draw or lottery for your charitable cause, you will need to make yourself aware of the latest lottery legislation. Even small, incidental lotteries are regulated under gambling laws, and as such there are strict rules to follow.
Here is what you should consider when organising a raffle, lottery or prize draw:
Rules and Regulations For LotteriesThere are many laws to consider when running a lottery. As each fundraising circumstance is different, you should contact your local authority or seek independent legal advice to ensure you are adhering to the latest lottery and gambling laws.
In general, however, the following rules and regulations apply to lotteries:
- Every ticket must be sold for the same price
- Every ticket must have the same odds of winning the lottery
- Tickets can only be sold to persons aged 16 or over
Organising a Raffle or Lottery as Part of a Larger EventAlthough raffles are great fundraising endeavours on their own, many groups and charities also run raffles as part of other events, such as shopping fairs and parties. These types of lotteries are referred to as “incidental non-commercial lotteries”; in other words, the lottery is not the main event.
When running an incidental, non-commercial lottery, you will be exempt from many of the rules and regulations governing other types of lotteries. However, although the rules are less strict, the Gambling Act 2005 still applies and you should seek guidance if necessary.
When organising an incidental lottery, you should consider the following rules:
- All lottery tickets must be sold at the event, with all participants present
- You cannot offer more than £250 in prizes, even if prizes have been donated
- You cannot offer cash prizes
- You cannot conduct a “roll-over” lottery of any type
The best way to conduct a lottery as part of another fundraising activity is to leave the prize draw until the end of the event. This way, not only will you have more time to sell tickets, but people will also stay to see if they've won, giving you more time to fundraise with other activities too!
Four Steps to a Successful Lottery, Raffle or Prize DrawOnce you have decided to conduct a lottery and have reviewed the relevant legal requirements, it's one of the easier fundraising events to plan.
Running a lottery requires four simple steps:
- Printing tickets or buying ticket books
- Procuring prizes
- Promoting the lottery and selling tickets
- Running the lottery
By making yourself aware of current legislation and keeping your plans organised, you are well on your way to a successful lottery, prize draw or raffle. However, if you're ever in doubt about your plans or need assistance, you should contact your local authority, the Institute of Fundraising, the Gambling Commission, or check the Gambling Act 2005.