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Societies Lotteries

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.

Tacit consent does not apply, except where registration has already been in place during the year.

Making an application

To register with Mid Ulster District Council, a society must:

  • Apply to Council for registration - specifying the purposes for which the society is established and conducted. 
  • Provide any other details which Council may require.
  • Specify the address of its office or head office.
  • Attach a copy of its lottery scheme showing how it proposes to run its lotteries.
  • Copy the application to the local PSNI district commander in which the office or head office of the society is situated.
  • Pay the appropriate fee of either £35.00 for initial registration of a society or a renewal fee of £17.50 payable each year thereafter on 1 January to maintain the registration.
Refusal of an application

The application will be refused if:

The conditions in the definition of a society’s lottery are not satisfied or if the lottery scheme does not conform to the law.

​The application may also be refused if:

  • Anyone connected with a lottery promoted or proposed to be promoted on behalf of the society has been convicted of an offence involving lotteries, fraud or dishonesty; or

  • The address of the office or head office of the society is the same as that of the office or head office of another registered society established for the same or a connected purpose; or

  • Any lottery promoted by or on behalf of the society within the last 5 years has not been properly conducted.

Where an application for registration is refused, the applicant has the right of appeal to the county court. This must be done within 21 days.

Useful contacts

The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)


Legal advice on the law should be obtained from a professional legal advisor. 

Further information on the lotteries law may be obtained from Social Policy Unit, Department of Social Development.  E: social.policy@dsdni.gov.uk  

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) provides advice and information to voluntary and community groups on lottery law in Northern Ireland. 

The Charity Advice Service
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
61 Duncairn Gardens
Belfast 
BT15 2GB
T: 028 9087 7777

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