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Christmas Raffles – can we have alcohol as prizes?

Can we include alcoholic prizes in a raffle without holding a Premises Licence?

Q: At the staff Christmas party, which we actually hold after Christmas, we will have a meal and entertainment and we usually hold a raffle. This year we are holding the party away from one of our pubs. All the food and drink is free, but the staff do pay for the raffle tickets. There are some decent prizes so the raffle is always popular. All the money raised from the raffle goes to a local charity which we support. This year some of the prizes will include alcohol, and the venue where we are holding the party does not have a licence. Is this OK?

A: Yes. You do not need a licence or a Temporary Event Notice as there is no charge for the food and drink during the party. In relation to the raffle, then even though your staff are paying for the chance to win alcohol, by virtue of Section 175 of the Licensing Act 2003 it will not constitute a sale of alcohol as staff will not be attending the party simply because you are holding a raffle. The raffle is incidental to the party. You must however ensure that the alcohol is in a sealed container and all the proceeds go to the charity; there must be no private gains. Have a good party!

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