Small lotteries, sweepstakes and raffles; application for a permit or notification of generally permitted events.
A permit under gambling law is required for the organization of so-called small lotteries and draws or tombolas. Generally permitted events are only to be reported.
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.
- In principle, the organizer of the small lottery must be a non-profit, charitable or ecclesiastical organization and therefore exempt from paying corporate income tax. Exceptions may be permitted in the case of social institutions without legal capacity, such as parent advisory councils at schools. Private individuals and tradesmen are excluded as organizers.
- No commercial purposes may be pursued with the event. References to the provision of profits by companies are permissible.
- The net profit of the organizer, the winnings of the players as well as the costs of the small lottery must be in a reasonable relation to each other. Net proceeds and total winnings must each amount to at least 25% of the game capital; sponsored prizes, insofar as their actual value is not determined, must be taken into account with an estimated value when determining the total winnings.
- The net proceeds must be used promptly for charitable, benevolent or church purposes.
- At least 1% of the lots must have a profit. The winnings must be appropriately staggered in terms of their value.
For the notification of generally permitted small lotteries, please use the notification form developed for this purpose (see under "Forms"). In the section "Deadlines" you will find the authority responsible for the notification. With some municipalities, you can already notify your small lottery in a separate online procedure.
If the planned small lottery is not covered by a general permit, an informal application must be submitted to the competent authority.
Responsible for issuing a permit for small lotteries are:
- Municipalities or administrative communities for all lotteries that - with regard to ticket sales outlets - do not extend beyond the municipal territory.
- Governments for all lotteries that do not extend beyond the administrative district, unless the municipality or administrative community is responsible.
- Government of Upper Palatinate for all lotteries that extend beyond a government district.
Here, too, the governments and some municipalities already offer their own online service.
Lotteries and draws must also be registered in good time before they begin with the centrally responsible tax office in Munich, Department III (Katharina-von-Bora-Str. 4, 80333 Munich), if the total price of the tickets exceeds € 1,000. Please clarify with the responsible tax office whether a lottery tax is due.
For further information on the taxation of lotteries, please refer to the fact sheet of the Bavarian State Office for Taxes (see "Further links").
If a small lottery or draw or raffle is considered generally permitted, you must:
- small lotteries or raffles with a stake of up to
- up to 650 Euro do not have to be displayed;
- over 650 euros up to and including 5,000 euros, notify the municipality of the venue at least one week in advance;
- over 5,000 euros, notify the government in whose administrative district the venue is located.
- Always notify small lotteries. They are to be indicated with a play capital up to
- 5,000 euros or less, they must be reported at least one week in advance to the municipality of the venue;
- over 5,000 euros, they must be reported in advance to the government in whose administrative district the venue is located.
Insofar as you require an individual permit for a small lottery or draw or tombola, there are no deadlines. However, you should submit the application in good time so that the responsible authority has sufficient time to review the application; no ticket sales may take place before permission is granted. It is therefore advisable to contact the competent authority (see under "Procedure") as early as possible.
Please select a location in "Localization" so that the address of the responsible authority can be filled in.
Links to more information
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration
- Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
- Online transactions, locally limited
- Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
- Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
- Legal bases, locally limited
- Fees, Bavaria-wide
- Fees, locally limited