Population 2019: 66,7 million
GDP 2019: 2,164 billion EUR
GDP per capita 2019: 37,760 EUR
Taxation for Lotteries: 12 per cent for the National Lottery. External Lottery Managers have to pay Corporation Tax and a range of other taxation. Society lotteries are exempted from lottery duty.
Charity lotteries allowed: Yes.


Great Britains Gambling Act came into effect in 2005; this legislation regulates almost all games of chance, including lotteries. In conjunction with this Act, the Gambling Commission was also introduced with a mandate to regulate all commercial types of gambling in Great Britain.

In addition to the Gambling Act, the National Lottery Act exists. This Act regulates the license of the National Lottery of which Camelot Group Plc is the incumbent. Currently, Camelot operates the biggest lottery in Europe with an average annual turnover of over £7 billion (8 billion EUR). The primary aim of the National Lottery Act is to raise as many funds for charities as possible.


The legislation in Great Britain makes a distinction between eight different types of lotteries. Three of these categories need to acquire a license to operate from the UK Gambling Commission. The other five are small (private) lotteries which may be used for fundraising or in the private sphere. These five types of lotteries are also capped at a maximum prize pool of £500 and operating costs may not exceed £100.

The first two lottery types that require a license are very similar: these are 1) external lottery manager (or ELM) 2) and small and large society lotteries. In both cases, the primary goal of both lottery types must be non-commercial and to raise funds for charities. Consequently, reserved for society are all proceeds of the lottery. Private gain or commercial undertakings are prohibited.

The third of the three types is the aforementioned National lottery. The incumbent of this license is Camelot Group Plc, who operated the lottery since inception in 1994 and who will continue to run at least till 2023. Also, unlike society lotteries, the National Lottery is not limited to the prizes it can offer or the proceeds it can make. Whereas under limits set by Parliament, society lotteries must operate within maximum prize and proceeds limits. The primary legislatorial goal of the National Lottery is to generate as many funds for charities as possible.



Looking back at the legislation and the types of lotteries, we may observe that Great Britain does not distinguish charity lotteries from the eight other categories. Below you may find an overview of all the lotteries in Great Britain that, to our standards, may be defined as a charity lottery, which means that they reserve a large portion of their annual turnover for distribution to charitable causes. There are around 500 society lotteries; The Lotteries Council represents many of them.


The People’s Postcode Lottery initially launched as the UK Postcode Lottery in the north-east of England. In 2007, they received permission to expand to Scotland as well and subsequently rolled out to the rest of Great Britain in 2009 under a new name: the People’s Postcode Lottery.

A minimum of 32 per cent of the ticket price goes to charities, which amounted to £138,5 million (157 million EUR) in 2019. As its name suggests, the People's Postcode Lottery categorised as a solid foundation in civil society, supporting a wide range of different charities, good causes and small community. Over more than 7500 charities and good causes. The People's Postcode Lottery has distributed more than 569 million EUR to charities and good causes.


The Health Lottery, launched in 2011, combines 12 local lotteries that each cover several local authorities across Britain. Each lottery raises money for health-related good causes within their respective areas. In total, they support more than 3,000 health and wellness-related causes across England, Scotland and Wales. The Health Lottery has stated in June 2020 over £114 million (128 million EUR) had been raised since the start.



Following the National Lottery Act of 1993, to run the National Lottery, only one body is licensed, which has been the Camelot Group plc since its genesis. During that time, Camelot has grown to the most significant player in the European lottery market, with a turnover of over £7,2 billion (±8,3 billion EUR) in 2019.

With regards to charities, the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) receives a certain percentage of each game. The subsidiary, a compromise of 16 funds, which each specialises in the sectors they represent, such as sports or arts. Over the past years, Camelot has been the most charitable state lottery in the EU, generating over £1.5 billion (±1.7 billion EUR) each year for charities.

Unfortunately, the distribution of funds to charities is at risk too. As stated before, distributed is a certain percentage of each game to the NLDF. Draw-based games return more in percentage terms than scratch cards and (online) instant win games. Increasing focus on latter two game types, Camelot’s remittance to charities has been declining for years: with 25 per cent, or £1.9 billion, of its sales in 2016 to 21 per cent, or £1.5 billion, in 2019.