Lotteries are characterized by the fact that only cash prizes are drawn. In contrast, in raffles, non-cash prizes or both non-cash and cash prizes are drawn. A tombola is defined as a draw that takes place indoors. The explanations on small lotteries apply accordingly to small lotteries and tombolas, unless specifically stated otherwise.
Small lotteries exist if the planned game capital (number of planned tickets x ticket price) does not exceed 40,000 euros.
By the way: Lotteries with a higher game capital than 40,000 euros are subject to much stricter requirements. In this case, please first seek advice from the government in whose administrative district the lottery is to be organized.
Small lotteries are subject to licensing if a stake is required and basically anyone can participate in the draw. This is the case if the possibility to participate is not limited to a certain, firmly closed group of persons. If small lotteries are habitually organized in clubs or other closed societies, they are also considered to be public games of chance. In addition to the payment of a ticket price, the stake can, for example, be the purchase of goods or the like as a condition for participation in the lottery; this is then referred to as a so-called hidden stake.
Small lotteries can be permitted in two ways. Either a so-called general permit has already been issued (1st way) or the competent authority issues a formal permit notice for the specific individual case upon your application (2nd way).
1st way: Small lotteries are considered permitted in cases where the requirements of a general permit are met; an individual permit is then no longer required. However, it is usually subject to notification (see under "Deadlines"). Another advantage is that there are no administrative costs for you.
All governments have issued general permits for their area of jurisdiction (see under "Further links"). If you are not sure whether the small lottery you intend to conduct is considered a general permit, contact the municipality or government.
2nd way: If the small lottery you intend to conduct does not fall under a general permit, an application must be submitted to the competent authority (see under "Procedure"). This must contain at least the following information:
- exact designation of the organizer (name, legal form, registered office, persons authorized to represent as well as persons responsible for the lottery with address, e-mail address and telephone number),
- type, place or area, and time or period of the lottery applied for,
- Purpose of the lottery; information on the use of the net proceeds,
- Information on the distribution of the tickets; list of ticket sales points with address and the respective sales times,
- Game plan (number of tickets, ticket price, type, number and sequence of prizes including the respective value, procedure for determining the prize, notification of winners),
- Calculation of the event:
intended income (= planned game capital, i.e. number of planned tickets x ticket price)
minus expected costs (e.g. expenses for prizes, printing costs for tickets, etc.)
minus profit total (at least 25% of the game capital)
= net income (at least 25% of the game capital; the net income must be used entirely for the stated purpose),
- Regulation in the event that winnings are not collected.