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Page last updated on 18/5/2009
Lotteries and Gaming Machines Licences 


Lotteries are sometimes more commonly known as raffles, totes, draws, and tombolas. They are a means for societies and other organisations to raise funds. A lottery can be defined as the distribution of prizes by lot or chance.

There are different types of lotteries:

  • Small lotteries.
  • Private lotteries.
  • Local authority lotteries.
  • The national lottery.
  • Society lotteries.

Small lotteries and private lotteries do not require a licence but as a result are severely restricted to venue, type of prizes (no cash prizes allowed) and to who tickets may be sold.

In order to conduct lotteries, societies must register with the Council in wherever area it is based.

Registration of Society

The Council may only register Societies established for one or more of the following purposes:

a) charitable purposes;
b) participation in or support of athletic sports or games or cultural activities;
c) purposes which, not being described in paragraph (a) or (b) above, are neither purposes of private gain nor purposes of an commercial undertaking.

However, if the value of all tickets sold exceeds £20,000.00, or for the whole calendar year exceed £250,000.00 the society must register with the Gaming Board.

Gaming Machine Permit

A Gaming Machine Permit is required for premises if prizes are offered from gaming machines (gaming machines are sometimes referred to as fruit machines or one-armed bandits). If the premises are licensed for sale of alcohol, applications for permits should be submitted to the Magistrates Court. All other premises applications should be submitted to the Council.

A Gaming Machine permit is not required where the machine in question offers a game of skill (for e.g. quiz machines), or is a video arcade machine (for e.g. space invaders) and no money or token is paid out by the machine.

Carmarthenshire has adopted a resolution under the Gaming Act 1968 that it will not grant a gaming machine permit for any class of premises except amusement arcades/centres.

There are two types of permits that the Council issues, a Section 34 permit for premises with small payout machines and Section 34(5)E permit for premises with machines that pay larger payments and to which access is restricted to over 18's.