Under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (the Order), it is unlawful for any society (i.e. club, institution, organisation or association of persons) to promote a public lottery, unless such a society is registered with the Council in which the head office of the society is situated.
Private lotteries and small lotteries promoted as incidental of another event are exempt from registration but are subject to specific restrictions outlined in the Order.
A fee of £35.00 is payable on application for initial registration of a society. On 1 January in each year following the initial registration, a renewal fee of £17.50 is payable to maintain the registration.
An application for the registration of a society for conducting lotteries must be made to the district council in which the office or head office of the society is situated.
Applicants must also serve a copy of the application on the district commander of the PSNI in the district in which the office or head office of the society is situated.
An application under paragraph (1) of the Order must:
- specify the purposes for which the society is established and conducted; and
- contain such other information with respect to those purposes as the District Council may reasonably require; and
- specify the address of the office or head office of the society; and
- have attached to it a copy of its lottery scheme.
The private lottery provisions are intended to allow for traditional sweepstakes in work places, etc. and small-scale, fund-raising ballots by societies. Tickets or chances must not be sold to the public at large.