Small society lotteries

Small societies wishing to promote lotteries must register with the local authority as a small society lottery. Small society lotteries must be registered with the local authority within whose area the Society’s head office is located. This may also applies to anyone thinking of promoting lotteries such as raffles, tombola and prize draws.  Further details on lotteries that do not require a licence.

Any application you make in person at one of Contact Centres must be done by appointment. To make an appointment please call Cheshire East Customer Services on 0300 123 5015. Cheques must be made payable to ‘Cheshire East Council’



Fees are payable at the time of application.

  • £40.00 for a new lottery application
  • £20.00 annual renewal fee


After submission of your application for a new lottery licence, you may be required to provide additional documents:

  • A copy of any terms of reference or conditions for the society
  • A copy of the society’s constitution

  • A declaration stating that they represent a bona fide non-commercial society

Where to send your payment and application

Make your cheque payable to Cheshire East Council. Post this with your completed form to:

Cheshire East Council
Licensing Section
Municipal Buildings
Earle Street

If you prefer to deliver your forms in person, please take them to a Customer Service Centre, at a location convenient to you.

Eligibility criteria

  1. The society in question must be ‘non-commercial’ and conducted for
  • A charitable purpose
  • The participation in, or supporting of sports, athletics or cultural activity
  • Any other non-commercial purpose, other than private gain
  1. The lottery must be a small lottery where the total value of the tickets to be put on sale are;
  • Less than £20,000
  • The overall value of the tickets in a calendar year is less than £250,000
  • The lottery is not within 3 calendar years of a large lottery
  1. The purpose of the lottery must be for the promotion of any of the purposes of the Society.
  1. At least 20% of the proceeds must go to one of the Society's purposes
  1. The maximum prize allowed in £25,000

If your society is commercial and/or is likely to raise in excess of the limits above, then the organisation is classed as a large lottery and it will have to get a lottery operating licence from the Gambling Commission.

An application may be refused if

  • an operating licence held by the applicant has been revoked or refused within the past 5 years
  • the society is not a non-commercial society
  • a person connected with the promotion the lottery has been convicted of a relevant offence
  • any information provided in the application is found to be false or misleading

The Council will inform the society of the reasons it is minded to refuse the registration and the society will be given an opportunity to make representations against the decision either at a formal hearing or in writing.

The applicant or society has the right to appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receipt of the notice of the Council's decision.

Lottery returns

The Act sets out the information that the promoting society of a small society lottery must send as returns to the licensing authority with which it is registered, following each lottery held.

This information will allow the Council to assess, in particular, whether financial limits are being adhered to and to ensure that any money raised is being applied for the proper purpose.

The information that must be submitted on the Lottery official return form by the registered promoter (MS Word, 117KB) is as follows:

  • the arrangements for the lottery – specifically the date on which tickets were available for sale or supply, the dates of any draw and the value of prizes, including any donated prizes and any rollover;
  • the proceeds of the lottery;
  • the amounts deducted by the promoters of the lottery in providing prizes, including prizes in accordance with any rollovers;
  • the amounts deducted by the promoters of the lottery in respect of costs incurred in organising the lottery;
  • whether any expenses incurred in connection with the lottery were not paid for by deduction form the proceeds, and, if so, the amount of expenses and the sources from which they were paid; and the amount applied to the purpose for which the promoting society is conducted (this must be at least 20% of the proceeds).

The Act also requires that returns must:

  • be sent to the Council no later than three months after the date of the lottery draw, or in the case of ‘instant lotteries (scratch cards) within three months of the last date on which tickets were on sale; and
  • be signed by two members of the society, who must be aged eighteen or older, are appointed for the purpose in writing by the society or, if it has one, its governing body, and accompanied by a copy of their letter or letters of appointment.

Page last reviewed: 07 April 2022