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Raffle Ticket Legal Stuff

Selling Raffles Tickets is a great way to raise funds, particularly during an event. However, some raffles need to be registered with your local authority or the Gaming Board. The main types of raffle and what you have to do for each one is outlined below.

Small raffle:

The simplest raffle to organise, and one which does not require any registration, is a small raffle. Raffle Tickets are only sold during the event, not before, and each Raffle Ticket shouldn't cost more than £1. A maximum of £250 can be spent on prizes, but donated prizes can be accepted. No money prizes can be offered, although gift vouchers are OK. All proceeds must be donated to the charity.

Private raffle:

Another type of raffle that does not need to be registered is a private raffle. Raffle Tickets for this can be sold to people living or working in the same premises, or who are members of an organisation. This raffle can only be advertised on the Raffle Tickets or in the premises.

Society Raffle or Lottery:

A society raffle enables Raffle Tickets to be sold over a period of time to the general public. It is run by a group of people and must be registered with your local authority or the Gaming Board (usually costs about £30). There are strict rules regarding the administration of a society raffle:-

- The maximum price you can charge for each Raffle Ticket is £2
- You can register with the local authority as “Ms Smith raising money for XYZ Good Cause“.
- You must abide by the authorities rules on what must be printed the Raffle Tickets
- You must follow the authorities rules on how to administer the raffle
- Organising a society raffle requires you to keep financial records, check the rules carefully with your local authority.

Prize competition:

If you want to sell Raffle Tickets before an event but don’t want to go to the trouble of registering your raffle with your local authority or the Gaming Board, you can hold a prize competition. Tickets are sold as in a raffle, but entrants must answer a question as well as paying an entrance fee. The question should not be too easy; otherwise it will be necessary to set a tiebreaker. A prize competition is not a raffle; it is an alternative way of raising funds by ticket.

TOP TIP: When organising a prize draw and setting a question and a tiebreaker choose a question with a one-word answer. For example: Q: In what year was President Kennedy assassinated? A: 1963. Then you can see at a glance whether someone has answered the question correctly.

The law on Raffle Tickets (also known as lotteries) can be confusing. It is worth noting that all raffles or lotteries are illegal unless they fall into the categories above. For comprehensive advice, please read the Gaming Board publication, Lotteries and the Law, available from www.gbgb.org.uk.

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