Essential Information for Event Organisers
This information page gives the basic information about whether you need to register or apply for a licence for your event, and local contact details. If you are a Community Group based in Haringey please contact us if you can’t find the information you need here.
- Raffles and lotteries
- Bingo and other games of chance
- Entertainment Licences
- Events on public land
- Food and drink
- Street Collections
- Street Parties and closures
- Trading activities and tax
Schedule 11 of the Gambling Act 2005 outlines the conditions for running raffles or lotteries for clubs, societies, charities and other community organisations.
You do not have to register a raffle or lottery if you are running:
1. An incidental non-commercial lottery.
This is a raffle that takes place during the course of an event – eg the tickets are sold and the raffle drawn during a meeting, fête, dinner dance, or party. Tickets can only be sold at the event and the winners must be announced at the event. No more than £100 can be spent on organising costs, and no more than £500 can be spent on prize
2. A private lottery.
This includes raffles where the sale of tickets is restricted to:
- Members of your society (club, group or organisation)
- People who all work on the same premises
- People who all live on the same premises
You will need to comply with the following conditions:
The entire proceeds of the lottery must be used for prizes and the benefit of the organisation, once any organising costs have been deducted.
You can only advertise the raffle on the society’s or club’s premises, or the workplace or residential building where the raffle will take place.
Each ticket must state: the price of the ticket; the name and address of the promoters; who is entitled to buy a ticket; and that tickets are non-transferable once they have been sold.
Registering a Raffle or Lottery
A raffle where tickets are sold to members of the public in advance is called a ‘Society Lottery’.
If the total proceeds of the raffle or lottery are below £20,000 it is called a ‘small society lottery’ and you only have to register with the local council. There is an annual fee of £40 (which is reduced to £20 if you re-register for a second year).
If you are selling tickets worth over £20,000 the lottery will be classed as a ‘large society lottery’ and you will also have to register with the Gambling Commission.
To register for a small society lottery you can download a form from the councils’ website or request to be sent one. We suggest that you do this at least 28 days in advance. We will assess your application, including a police check for relevant offences, and issue a certificate if we are satisfied that you meet the criteria. You cannot start your lottery until a certificate has been received.
When your raffle is finished you will need to complete another form showing how much money you collected, and how much you spent on expenses and prizes.
The main conditions for a small society lottery are:
A member of your committee must be named as the ‘promoter’ and this must be agreed in writing by the committee.
Your raffle tickets must include the following information
- the name of the group running the raffle
- the name of the promoter
- the address of the promoter (this can be the group’s address)
- the date of the raffle
- confirmation that the raffle has been registered with Haringey Council.
Tickets can only be sold to those aged 16 or above.
Tickets must all be sold for the same amount, but there is no maximum ticket price.
At least 20% of the proceeds must go to the charity or ‘good cause’. This means that up to 80% can be spent on prizes and expenses. There can be no private gain.
It is sensible to keep clear records of all money spent, how many tickets individuals took, and all money received so everything can be accounted for.
The Gambling Act 2005 states that you do not have to have a licence to play bingo, or run a race night as long as you are playing for ‘good causes’ or as members of a club.
Bingo for good causes
This can only take place at events when none of the proceeds are being used for private gain.
Players must be informed of the organisation or ‘good cause’ that will benefit from the money raised.
You can play either ‘prize bingo’ or equal chance’ bingo.
In prize bingo all the prizes are put up in advance and are not dependent on the number of players or amount of money collected.
There are no limits on the amount of money you can collect for admission fees or ticket sales, or on the value of prizes paid out.
Equal chance bingo
In equal chance bingo the amount of money paid out in prizes is dependent on how much is collected in admission charges and sale of tickets.
You can charge each person up to £8 for admission and tickets.
The total value of prizes must not exceed £600.
Only members and their guests can play.
The maximum admission fee is £1
All expenses must be paid from the admission fee and not the fees charged for tickets.
The maximum amount of money that can be taken, or prizes paid out, is £2000. If you want a higher turnover you will need to apply for an operating license from the Gambling Commission
The regulations for Race Nights are very similar to those for bingo. You can run a Prize Race Night following the guidelines for prize bingo above, or an Equal Chance Race Night following the guidelines for Equal chance bingo above.
If you are providing entertainment (regulated entertainment) you may need two different licences:
- A license from the local council that entitles you to provide public entertainment.
- A separate license that gives you the right to perform copyrighted material or play recorded music and videos.
For events open to the public, premises generally do need to be licensed by the local authority for live or recorded music, dance or sporting events, plays and film or video shows.
If you are hiring a venue to put on an event, check that the venue has a ‘Premises Licence’ or a ‘Club Premises Certificate’ issued by the council. The licence must cover the activities you are organising, for example, some premises are licensed for music and dancing but not for stage and film shows. Your event will also have to take place in the premises’ licensed opening hours.
If you are holding an event at a venue that does not have a ‘Premises licence’ or a ‘Club Premises Certificate’ that covers your activities, you will need to serve a ‘Temporary Event Notice (TEN)’ on the council and the Police at least 10 clear working days before the event. TENs can cover events that last up to 96 hours and involve no more than 499 people. They cost £21.
- Download a Temporary Event Notice Application Form from the Licensing section of the council website.
If you want to organise an event outdoors, e.g. a street party you need to contact the council to find out if you should serve a ‘Temporary Event Notice’.
Performing or playing copyright material
If you want to perform music or a play written by someone else, or if you want to play recorded music or video, the premises you are using will need a licence. As of 1 January 2011 community and voluntary organisations are no longer exempt from these licences. You therefore need to check that the venue you are using is covered by a Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) license. The contact number for the Performing Rights Society is 020 7580 5544 and for the website see external links section below
You are not allowed to sell alcohol unless you have a licence or have served a Temporary Event Notice. If you want to sell alcohol you should firstly check that the venue you are using has a ‘Premises License’ and that there is a named ‘supervisor’ who holds a ‘Personal License’ to sell alcohol. Alternatively it may have a ‘Club Premises Certificate’ which includes the sale of alcohol. If it does not have either of these you can serve a ‘Temporary Event Notice’ on the council and the Police at least 10 clear working days before the event at a cost of £21.
The provision of bottles of alcohol as prizes in raffles and tombolas is exempt from the licensing regulations. However, it is NOT permissible to sell tickets which can then be exchanged for an alcoholic drink, or to ask for a donation in return for alcohol.
You have to apply to the council if you want to hold an event in one of the council's parks. Permission for this, needs to be arranged through the Parks Service at least a month in advance.
You can sell or provide free food and non alcoholic drinks as long as:
- All profits go to the organisation
- You ensure food is prepared in a hygienic manner and complies with the Food Safety Act.
- If food is prepared, stored, supplied or sold on a regular basis you have to register with the Food Safety Team at least 28 days in advance.
You need to apply for a licence for a street collection or to collect money at events and in public places. Contact the Licensing Police Officer at Wood Green Police Station (Tel: 020 3276 0150) and they will advise what sort of licence you need for your event and send you the relevant forms.
If you want to have a street party you need to get permission from the council and apply for a temporary traffic regulation order. There is no charge for this. Tel 020 8489 1300
The first step you need to take is to contact the council to find out if it is feasible for your road to be closed. Some roads are essential access routes for the emergency services and cannot be closed. If a nearby street is to be closed on the same day, the council may not allow your street to close as well.
If it is feasible, you then need to find out if the majority of the people who live in the street you want to close are happy for you to do so, and that no one has any strong objections. To do this you will need to take a petition door-to-door and get people to sign their names against their house number. The council’s guidance is that it is desirable to get a good majority of residents to sign.
Once you’ve got your petition signed, and at least 28 days before the date of your street party, contact the council to apply for permission to close the road. The council officer will then tell you what you need to do to proceed. They will contact the emergency services, bus companies and any other organisations who may need to be aware that your road is going to be closed for a day.
You will be supplied with a plan of signs you need to put up to notify road users of the road closure. You will also need to erect barriers to prevent vehicles from entering. You are responsible for placing the barriers and signs as shown on the council’s plans, and for removing them again at the end of the event.
If you are holding a parade and it is necessary to close any roads to ensure the safety of the participants you need to apply to Highways for a ‘temporary traffic regulation order’. Any costs associated with the closure, diversion signing and stewarding have to be born by the event organisers. You will also need to inform the police for the area.
You do not have to pay tax on money raised at bazaars, concerts or other performances, carnivals, fire work displays, dinners and similar activities provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:
The event must be organised and promoted exclusively to raise money for the benefit of the charity or not-for-profit organisation.
You must not hold more than 15 events of the same kind at the same location during one financial year. However, this only applies if the weekly turnover exceeds £1000.
Level 6 Alexandra House
10 Station Road
Tel 020 8489 1335
Page Last Updated:
How can we improve this page?
Use this form to let us know what you think of this page. All comments are reviewed by us once every week.
This form is not for service issues or requests - all such comments should go to Customer Services.