Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985
Do I need to Apply for a Registration of a Society?
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 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.
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.
Application Evaluation Process
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.)
A fee of £35.00 is payable on application for initial registration of a society. Each year after the initial registration a renewal fee of £17.50 is payable to maintain the registration.
Registration Application Form
A £35, non-refundable fee, covering all lotteries for the calendar year in which your application is made must be paid at the time of application.
Please also refer to the ‘Guidance Notes for Application Form for Registration and Retention of a Society’ for details of information that is needed to process your application.
Renewing your Lottery Licence
Lottery licences expire on 31 December each year.
To make sure your lottery licence remains valid, you must complete and return a Renewal of Registration Form, allowing a minimum of two weeks for processing.
A non-refundable renewal fee of £17.50 must be made.
How to Apply
Application forms can be obtained by clicking in the downloads section below or from the Council's Downpatrick or Newry offices at the following addresses:
Newry, BT35 8DJ
Downshire Civic Centre
Downpatrick, BT30 6GQ
Telephone: 0330 137 4030