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Myth Buster! Office Sweepstake Rules

Office sweepstakes are one of the easiest ways to raise money for your chosen charity. But as soon as sweepstake fever sweeps (sorry) across the office, there will always be one person who starts asking gambling laws.

So can you organise a sweepstake without a gambling licence?
The simple answer is yes! But there are a few rules you should be aware of first.

Office sweepstakes fall under the “permitted private lotteries” category of the Gambling Act 2005. This means it is fine for you to run a sweepstake as long as you abide by some rules – don’t worry we have made them as simple as possible for you – but you should always check the regulations yourself because if deemed illegal, the organiser is liable – unless the company itself approved it – in which case they would be liable instead

Keep it in one place.
Office sweepstakes must be kept to one location, only advertised in that one location and only people who work on the same premises can enter.

So if you work in a company that has two offices in different locations, each location would have to run its own sweepstake. You can then only sell entries and advertise to the people in that building.

Sell your tickets right!
All participants in an office sweepstake must pay the same price for each ticket purchased. Participants cannot pick their own teams and all tickets sold are non-transferable and cannot be “rolled over”

Simply put, everyone has to pay the same price for an entry and must be allocated a team (e.g pick out of a hat). If they are not happy they cannot transfer their ticket to another participant or roll over their ticket to another sweepstake

Don’t make a profit!
All organisers must ensure they do not make any profit on the sweepstake however reasonable expenses can be deducted from the entrance fee. The organiser must also ensure that all of the profits that are made, and either given back to participants or given to a charity or good cause.

For example, once you have sold all your tickets, you would be able to deduct the cost of the raffle tickets you used, but would not be able to keep any extra money – instead, the profits must go towards the Jackpot or to a charity.

Finally, if you work for a company that has a gambling licence such as a casino, you cannot run.
It’s that simple!

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