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How To Get A Club Lotto Licence

December 10, 2021

By James Ó Flatharta

Ever since the mid-90’s club lotteries have been an extremely popular form of fundraising for sports clubs and these have operated online in many forms since the first locallotto.ie (now Clubforce) was formed in the year 2008.

Today sees club lotteries as an integral part of how clubs raise funds to cover everything from operational costs of running the club to fundraising for specific projects such as clubhouses or new facilities.

Starting a club lotto is easy with Clubforce but one of the first steps is making sure you comply with the law in your jurisdiction.

Does a club need a licence to run a fundraising lotto?

In a nutshell, yes, clubs and associations in Ireland running a lotto fundraising must either be licensed by the courts or have a permit, whether they conduct the club lotto online or offline. Licences must be renewed annually if the club wishes to continue their lottery beyond the first year.  Running and promoting lotteries without a licence is an offence under the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.

There is an alternative to the lotto licence and that is a lotto permit.  This can be obtained from An Garda Siochana and allows a club to run a lottery up to a maximum prize value of €5,000. This is a great starting point for any club as they can apply for a club lottery licence at a later date when the prize value and level of interest grows. To apply for a lotto permit, complete this form and return it to your local Garda station where the Superintendent will review and approve and issue a permit or reject the application.

How to apply for a club lotto licence?

In Ireland, The District Court is authorised under the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956-1986 to issue licences to residents in their area, for charitable purposes as required in the case of clubs and societies. There is a detailed information leaflet on applying for a lottery licence available here on the Department of Justice website which is worth reviewing before applying.

These are the conditions that need to be met:

1. The prize money on offer cannot exceed €30,000 at any time (or €360,000 as a one-off annual lottery)

2. The permit holder shall derive no personal profit from the lottery

3. The value of the prize on offer must be clearly stated on every ticket and at the point of purchase of a ticket.

4. Multiple permits cannot be held by the same beneficiary (club in this instance)

In Great Britain and Northern Ireland, non-commercial clubs (involved in enabling participation in sport) can run lotteries with a maximum single draw prize of £20,000. These lotteries are governed by the Gambling Commission and do not require the club to have a licence. However,  The club must register with their local authority and details on how to do so can be found here on the Gambling Commission website. Clubforce is registered with the Gambling Commission in the UK to provide clubs with the software to sell gambling related products in the UK.

Online lotto has seen a dramatic increase in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Due to the pandemic online lotto has never been more important for clubs and associations as sales are being quadrupled monthly.  Online lotteries are crucial in running clubs during these current unprecedented times. When making sure you are complying with the governing law you can follow our 10 simple steps to starting a new lotto at your sports club and also see 5 key ways to run your club lotto online with Clubforce!

Marketing Assistant at Clubforce

James Ó Flatharta

James Ó Flatharta is a Marketing Assistant with Clubforce and is focused on promoting social media and the employer brand. James is a native Irish speaker and spent a year working with TG4 on an internship before joining the Clubforce family.  James has a BA in Irish and Maths from NUI Galway, an MA in Media Studies from Mary Immaculate college and has recently completed a Postgraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Maynooth. James is sport mad and plays a wide range from GAA with his local club CLG An Cheathrú Rua, Rugby with Corinthians RFC, AFL with the Galway Magpies and in his spare time dabbles in tag rugby and soccer socially.