What is a Raffle?

This is section is a general overview of what a raffle is and the different types of raffle you can host. This is not legal advice and you should always contact your local authority or the Gambling Commision if you have any doubts. When you are ready to purchase or would like to browse our other products then please visit our home page.

What is a raffle?

A raffle is a type of lottery where people purchase tickets with unique numbers on for the chance to win a prize. A raffle has a set draw date and time for when it is drawn. The raffle is drawn at random and all the prizes must be won by the people who have purchased tickets.

The most popular form of raffle is the small society raffle which requires a promoter to register at their local authority or council for a yearly rate of around £20 after an initial registration fee of £40.

Whats the difference between a raffle and a lottery?

A raffle is a type of lottery, The main difference is that with a raffle there must be a guaranteed winner. There are many types of different lotteries. The most common one we associate with the term lottery though is the national lottery or Lotto. However, usually raffles in legal terms via the gambling commission are referenced as lotteries.

What are the different types of raffles or lotteries?

The most common types are the Small Society, Incidental and Private lotteries.

What is a small society lottery?

A small society lottery is a lottery/raffle run by a non commercial society (usually run for charitable purposes or any other purposes that is not for private gain). According to the Gambling commissions guide some of the main rules that distinguish are as follows.

- You must be registered with your local council or authority.
- A minimum of 20% must be given to the good cause or purpose of the society.
- No one prize can be worth more than £25,000.
- You can't sell more than £20,000 of tickets in a single lottery or £250,000 in any given year.
- All tickets must be the same price.

What is an incidental lottery?

An incidental lottery is a lottery/raffle that you are holding at an event, such as a fair or fete. You do not need a licence or any requirement to register at an authority/council, however, you must still adhere to the rules set by the Gambling Commision.

- Money must be raised for non commercial gain.
- You can sell tickets to anyone at the event only, on location whilst the event is taking place. You cannot sell online.
- Tickets must have unique numbers or identifiers so you can pick a winner.
- No limits to how much you can charge for a ticket, and can also offer discounts for multiple buys.

What is a private society lottery

A private society lottery is a lottery/raffle that is run for members of your community group or club. You do not need a licence or any requirement to register at an authority/council, however, you must still adhere to the rules set by the Gambling Commision.

Money raised can be used for your club or community as long as it is relevant to the cause (for eg a golf club raising money to buy new equipment.

- You can also raise money for charity or other good causes.
- Tickets can be sold to members or guests. Guests must purchase tickets on the premises.
- No specific requirements for tickets as long as they all cost the same price and they are not sold online.
- The draw must take place on the society's premise.

What is an online raffle?

An online raffle is similar to an offline small society lottery. The promoter will need to register with their local authority or gain a licence from the gambling commission. Usually this is avoided by actually holding a Prize Competition and passing it off as a raffle.

Who are the gambling commission ?

The gambling commission licence and regulate the individuals and businesses that provide gambling in Great Britain, including the National Lottery, to safeguard players and the wider public by ensuring gambling is fair and safe.

Do raffles make good fundraisers?

Yes they are. They are still one of the cheapest and simplest ways to raise funds for your cause. They also bring communities together, boost charity engagement and awareness and are a lot of fun. If you are holding an event, say a fair, fete or even a festival then a raffle makes an extremely worthwhile addition to your fundraising.

Whats the difference between raffle tickets and roll tickets?

Roll tickets are small single tickets, uniquely numbered and connect end to end via a perforation. The customer retains a number, and so does the seller.

Raffle tickets are the bigger brother which allows for larger prize funds and public ticket selling which usually raises significantly more money. They make a more professional impression which is important for the buyers trust and increases awareness of your brand.

With a larger print area, more information is seen by the purchaser of the ticket, and so it's easier to promote your cause which can lead to possible donations or event attention, which ultimately raises more money.

What are raffle ticket books?

Raffle ticket books are a group of single raffle tickets stapled or glued into books. The most common book size is 5 but can also be made up in books of 4, 6, 10, 20 etc.

What is a raffle draw?

A raffle draw is the same as a raffle. The term is used as you commonly draw a ticket randomly to pick a winner. The raffle draw could also be used as a term for the actual day of the raffle taking place. i.e. the draw date.

Where can I find more information on the legal requirements of holding a raffle?

We have an entire section dedicated to everything about raffle legislation.