Lotteries and raffles

Nine percent of FRSB members fundraise through lotteries and it’s an important way of raising income. However, the public sometimes has concerns about lottery fundraising. Here’s how to protect yourself when you’re supporting charities in this way.

Nine percent of our members fundraise through lotteries and it’s an important way of raising income. However, the public sometimes has concerns about lottery fundraising. Here’s how to protect yourself when you’re supporting charities in this way.

What to look for when donating through lotteries and raffles

There’s some simple ways to protect yourself.

Understand how a lottery is defined

A lottery has three essential aspects:

  • You have to pay to enter the game
  • There is at least one prize
  • Prizes are awarded purely on chance

If it meets all of these criteria, it will be covered by this legislation.

Lotteries must be licensed

Depending on the type of lottery, it must have a licence from either the Gambling Commission or be registered with a licensing authority. Check with the operator what type of licence they have.

Check the information on the tickets

Tickets must show:

  • the name of charity for which the lottery is being promoted
  • the name and address of the lottery promoter
  • the date of the draw
  • the price of the ticket
  • whether the lottery is licensed by the Gambling Commission and give its website address

For more information

Read the Gambling Commission FAQ.

See the guidelines on the Institute of Fundraising site.

What to do if you have concerns

If you need to raise issues, check with the charity in the first instance.

If you are still unhappy or you want to speak to an independent body, here’s who to contact:

  • The Gambling Commission can help with any concerns you may have about bigger charities and suppliers. Contact them to discuss your worries.
  • For smaller charities, contact your local authority, who should be able to help.
  • Report any concerns about lotteries and raffles by making a complaint.