Registration of Small Society Lotteries

Under the 2005 Act promoting or facilitating a lottery is illegal unless it is either (1) a licensed lottery, licensed by way of an operating licence from the Gambling Commission or (2) an exempt lottery under Schedule 11 of the 2005 Act, which includes "small society lotteries".

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.

If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address:

Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.

In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the

Licensing Team,
West Lothian Council,
Civic Centre,
EH54 6FF

along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation. 

If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.

Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions at present. 

If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.   

In relation to applications received for lottery registrations the most common type of lottery is a raffle.

To qualify as a small society lottery:

  1. the lottery must be promoted wholly on behalf of a "non-commercial society";  
  2. it must be a "small lottery"; and
  3. the other conditions of a small society lottery specified in Part 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 must be satisfied.

In order to qualify for this exemption, any non-commercial society promoting a small society lottery in West Lothian must, throughout the period during which the lottery is promoted, be registered with the Board.

If you are a non-commercial society and wish to promote a small lottery within West Lothian, you can apply to be registered with the Board.

Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission is also available in relation to fundraising with lotteries or raffles at events.

What is a non-commercial society

What is a 'small lottery'

How do we register

How much are the registration fees

How will your application be dealt with

What information must appear on the lottery tickets

Is there an age restriction on who can sell or buy lottery tickets

Where can we sell tickets

Is there anything else we need to do

What will be done with the information contained in our statement

What happens if we fail to comply with the above requirements