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All lotteries are illegal unless they comply with one of the exempt categories described in the Gambling Act 2005. The most common types of lottery are those where lottery tickets are sold to the general public, or a section of the public, for good causes (Small Society Lotteries); those at private functions such as dinner-dances; work's sweepstakes and customer lotteries.

Lotteries have to comply with a number of strict rules to ensure that they are run properly and fairly. The Gambling Commission has published guidance on running lotteries as well as more comprehensive guidance - Lotteries & The Law.

Small Society Lotteries must be registered with the local authority and the various forms relating to these are as follows: