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Lottery Registration


Under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, 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 District 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 is payable on application for initial registration of a society.  On 1st January of each following year, a fee of £17.50 is payable to maintain the registration.


An application for the registration of a society for the purpose of conducting lotteries shall be made to the council in which the office or head office of the society is situated and a copy of the application shall be served upon the district commander of the police district in which the office or head office of the society is situated

An application under paragraph (1) of the order shall—

  • specify the purposes for which the society is established and conducted;


  • 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.


The Betting and Gaming Northern Ireland Order 1985.


To register with the council, a society must:

  • Apply to the council for registration, specifying the purposes for which the society is established and conducted.
  • Provide any other details which the 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 police district commander.

Before deciding whether or not to grant an application, the council will hear any representations which the police may make. 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;


  • 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;


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

A registered society must notify the district council:

  • Of any change in the address of the society's office or head office within 21 days of the change taking effect


  • Of any change in its lottery scheme before any tickets are sold under the amended scheme. (A lottery scheme being contrary to law is one of the grounds upon which a district council may revoke a society’s registration.)


Tacit consent only applies where registration has already been in place during the year, an application for retention of registration is received by 31st of December and there is no substantial change to the proposed lottery scheme.

The Police have a legitimate interest in the outcome of applications for the initial registration of a society for the purpose for conducting lotteries, therefore to minimise the risk of registration being approved inadvertently Tacit consent does not apply. It is in the public interest that such applications are fully processed before registration is approved.

If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period, please contact us. Telephone the Licensing Officer on 028 71 253 253, or email [email protected].


Download Law on lotteries

Application Form 

On request:
Licensing Section
Derry City and Strabane District Council
Telephone:  Licensing Officer:- 028 71 253 253
E-mail: [email protected]

  • 98 Strand Road, Derry/Londonderry, BT48 7NN
  • 47 Derry Road, Strabane, BT82 8DY


Please contact Derry City and Strabane District Council in the first instance. Where an application for registration is refused the applicant may appeal to the county court. This must be done within 21 days of the date the applicant has been notified of such a decision.


Applications are made to the Derry City and Strabane District Council.


We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the society by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).


Contact the local Court Office: [email protected]

Further information on the lotteries law may be obtained from Social Policy Unit, Department of Social development.  Download a guide to “The Law on Lotteries in Northern Ireland from at -http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/law_and_legislation/social_policy/social_law.htm

Email - [email protected]

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

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) provides advice and information to voluntary and community groups on lottery law in Northern Ireland.  NICVA’s pamphlet “Lotteries - A Guide for Voluntary Groups” is available, free of charge, by contacting the Charity Advice Officer at:

The Charity Advice Service
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
61 Duncairn Gardens
BT15 2GB
Tel:  028 9087 7777    
Email: [email protected]