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Football, horse-racing, Wimbledon – just about any event can bring on the need for a sweepstake, but it’s best to take a minute to make sure your company isn’t breaking the law.
Yes, seriously, there are laws covering office gambling that include office sweepstakes and lotteries!
The law in England, Wales and Scotland (the Gambling Act 2005, amended 2015) says that you cannot organise a sweepstake without a licence. However, there are exceptions for those organised in the workplace; the legislation calls these ‘work lotteries’.
The Gambling Act 2005 creates eight categories of permitted gambling. Work lotteries are in a category called ‘permitted private lotteries’.
(This post won’t receive any further updates after April 2017).
Follow these legal rules and not only will you not need a licence, but you’ll be acting legally, too:
If the Gambling Commission considers that a lottery is illegal, it may require a discussion with the operator and, if this isn’t considered satisfactory, it has the option to take forward criminal proceedings, which may result in a fine or imprisonment.
More information is available from the Gambling Commission.
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses. Our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.