The Grand National: Legal advice on sweepstakes in pubs

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Grand National: Everything you need to know about sweepstakes
Grand National: Everything you need to know about sweepstakes

Related tags: Grand national, Gambling, Horse racing

As pubs prepare to welcome Grand National punters, on-trade legal specialists Poppleston Allen have listed everything you need to know about sweepstakes and gambling in a pub.

The Grand National, the most valuable National Hunt race in Europe, sees people up and down the country gathering around their TV and placing bets big and small.

And, as the nation picks its runners and riders, solicitor Richard Bradley has said sweepstakes can be carried out in pubs “provided that the rules of a customer lottery are followed”.

“All customers must have an equal chance of winning and therefore the horses must be allocated randomly, not selected based on form or odds,” he said.

“Publicans must be aware that commercial betting is prohibited in pubs and although customers can complete betting slips on their premises, landlords and their staff should not facilitate the process by taking slips to the bookies or by allowing a licensed bookmaker onto the premises to take bets.”  

The Grand National will be taking place at Aintree racecourse near Liverpool on Saturday 8 April at 5.15pm, live on ITV.

Customer lotteries/raffles

  • All the proceeds from ticket sales must be spent on the prizes, less deductions for reasonable expenses i.e. to cover the cost of the tickets. Not suitable for charity fundraising.
  • Tickets must only be sold to customers whilst they are on the premises.
  • The customer lottery must only be advertised on the premises and promotional material must not be circulated outside the premises.
  • Each ticket must be sold by or on behalf of the management and not by an external promoter.
  • Each ticket must state the name and address of the promoter/premises, the price of the ticket, that the tickets are non-transferable and confirm that the tickets are only available to customers of the premises. 
  • The maximum value per ‘prize’ must not exceed £50 and can include cash, goods, or a mixture of both.
  • There cannot be any rollover of the prizes to a draw at a later date.
  • There can only be one draw per week.
  • Tickets must not be sold to children under the age of 16.

Related topics: Entertainment

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