Legalities of a Race Night

The Lotteries and Amusement Act, 1976 define a Race Night as ‘a lottery’. The Rothschild Commission report on gaming and lotteries describes filmed horse racing as a form of lottery involving no skill or choice. Racing films are a simple and exciting way of establishing the winning ticket at random, so it is a game of chance with no skill involved.

There are, of course ways in which your race night could be considered illegal – holding the event open to the general public for example or advertising it in the local paper or outside club premises. To be safe, below is the relevant section of the Lottery and Amusement Act 1976 under which race nights are usually run. Please take a moment to read it:

Section 15, ‘Amusements with Prizes’ Section 15 is generally used when events are run in public places using ‘fun money’ with prizes. In this case you should ensure that:

1.The lottery is not the only substantial inducement for the people to attend; meaning the Race Night must be combined and advertised with another genuine attraction such as a Disco, Dinner-Dance, Quiz Night or even a ‘Social’.

2. All the proceeds of the entertainment, after expenses, must be devoted to purposes other than private gain.