Society Lotteries

Society lotteries are competitions organised to raise funds from the public for various non-profit organisations.

 

The Lotteries Act describes a society lottery as a lottery run by “any club, institution, organisation or association of persons, and any separate branch or section of such a club, institution, organisation or association”.

 

The requirements for the lawful operation of society lotteries are more stringent than those for private lotteries and lotteries incidental to entertainment and include registration with the National Lotteries Commission. This is because society lotteries are marketed to the general public and involve larger sums of money.

Registration

Any society wishing to organise a lottery must register with the NLC before any tickets are sold or chances offered.

See running a society lottery for details.

  • The lottery must be conducted entirely within South Africa.

  • The society benefitting from the lottery must be authorised to collect funds from the public in terms of the Fundraising Act (No 107 of 1978).

  • The society benefitting from the lottery must not be connected with lotteries, gambling or betting.

  • The lottery must be conducted in accordance with a “scheme” – or plan – that has been approved both by the society and the NLC.

  • The total value of tickets or chances sold and the value of prizes offered may not exceed the prescribed limit.
    • -Currently, the maximum value of tickets to be sold in a single society lottery is R2 million.
    • -The total value of prizes may not exceed R1 million per year per society.

  • The total proceeds, after deduction of permissible expenses (up to 15% of proceeds where proceeds are under R1 million, and up to 10% of proceeds where these exceed R1 million) and the cost of prizes, must be used solely for:
    • The charitable purposes for which the society is authorised to collect money in terms of the Fundraising Act.
    • Support of sport or cultural activities for which the society is authhorised to collect money in terms of the Fundraising Act.
    • Other non-commercial or not-for-gain purposes approved by the NLC.

  • Tickets for the lottery can only be advertised, marketed, promoted or sold in a prescribed area.

  • The lottery may not be advertised, marketed or promoted jointly with any other society lottery, nor may funds for prizes be combined with any other lottery.

  • The lottery must be conducted strictly in accordance with the rules set out in section 53 of the Lotteries Act.

The person who manages a society lottery must be:
  • A member of the society on whose behalf the lottery is conducted.

  • An employee of that society, acting in the course of employment.

  • A corporate body that is wholly owned by the society.

  • A certified lottery manager in terms of Section 47 of the Lotteries Act.

  • An employee of the certified lottery manager, acting in the course of employment.

Frequency
No more than six lotteries may be conducted by or on behalf of any society in any year – that is, the 12-month period commencing 1 January.
  • The date of a lottery is the date on which prizes are drawn.

  • In “instant lotteries”, where winners are determined by what is printed on the ticket, the lottery date is the date on which the last tickets are to be sold.

Also consult:

Lotteries and the law

Sections 38 – 40 and section 53 of the Lotteries Act

Regulations on the conduct of society lotteries

footer