The “lotto” is, in the majority of cases, the main source of funding for a local GAA club or charity. These sports clubs and charities are currently in the process of renewing or applying for lottery licences in the local District Court. In this article we would draw readers’ attention to the reasons that such a licence is required and how to go about getting one.
The main reason for the club or charity holding the lottery licence is a requirement that the lottery must be for some charitable purpose. Hence the reason that private individuals are not granted licences to sell tickets for personal gain. The legislation governing the running of a lottery (promotions often fall within the definition of a lottery) is the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956-1986. This says that a lottery permit or licence must be obtained if a lottery is to be promoted. A lottery licence granted by the District Court authorises the holding of a series of lotteries or draws, the total value of the prizes for which cannot exceed €20,000 on any occasion.
If more than one lottery is held in any week, the total value of the prizes for the week cannot exceed €20,000. The lottery may be promoted in any part of the State, as well as the district in which the court granted the licence. The District Court may grant a licence for a promotion for a period not exceeding one year. However, there are a number of requirements that must be fulfilled, which include:
- the lottery should be for some charitable or philanthropic purpose or purposes
- the licensee should derive no personal profit from it
- the value of each prize must be stated on every ticket or coupon
- no more than 40% of the gross proceeds can be used for the expenses of promotion, including commission, and any free entry for the lottery will be deemed to be a payment of commission to the extent of its value.
Under the Act, it is an offence to import, print, publish, distribute, sell, offer for sale or even to have in your possession for sale or distribution any ticket, counterfoil or coupon for use in a lottery. This effectively means that a number of other entities such as the shops that sell the product could all be prosecuted.
At Hassett Considine Solicitors we act for a number of Clubs and Associations who are currently renewing their licences and if you would like to discuss any part of the application process or any point raised in this article please contact Shiofra Hassett on the number quoted below.