Your organisation is ready for its big annual fundraiser, and you intend to raise money by selling raffle tickets. But first, have you obtained the requisite permits to hold a raffle? Do you need to report what your club earns? Below, we survey the regulations that govern raffle laws in each state.
Raffle Laws Around Australia
Each state and territory has a governing body regulating their raffles, namely:
- Australian Capital Territory: ACT Gambling and Racing Commission and Access Canberra.
- Northern Territory: Licensing, Regulation and Alcohol Strategy Division, NT Department of Business.
- Queensland: Office of Fair Trading, Queensland and Office of Liquor and Gambling Regulation.
- South Australia: Consumer and Business Services.
- Tasmania: Liquor and Gaming Branch, representing the Tasmanian Gaming Commission and Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
- Western Australia: Department of Commerce (Consumer Protection Division) and the Gaming and Wagering Commission of WA.
- New South Wales: Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
- Victoria: Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
If you plan to run a raffle Australia-wide, you must register and comply with the laws of each state.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission regulate raffles under the Lotteries Act 1964 (ACT). You will require a permit to conduct a raffle unless:
- You are a not-for-profit, and the prize value is less than $2,500; or
- Your club or association is holding the raffle for members only, and there is no external advertising.
If you are a charity, you will also have to comply with Access Canberra and the Charitable Collections Act 2003 (ACT). Collecting for a charity requires a licence unless you fall under the following exemptions:
- An organisation accredited by AusAid undertakes the collection;
- The collection is less than $15,000 in a financial year; or
- If a school receives money, the money is for educational purposes or a voluntary contribution from a person with parental responsibilities for a child who is enrolled at the school.
All forms for licence applications are available on Access Canberra’s website.
The Licensing, Regulation and Alcohol Strategy Division in the Northern Territory Department of Business regulates raffle laws under the Gaming Control Act. You will require a permit if the total prize pool is more than $5,000. However, you will not need a permit if another state grants you one.
The Northern Territory splits raffle permits into a minor lottery and major lottery category. Minor lotteries have a total ticket value of $5,001 to $20,000, while the ticket value for major lotteries exceeds $20,000.
In the Northern Territory, there is no restriction on whether you have to be a not-for-profit to conduct a raffle as long as the value of the prizes exceeds $5,000.
The Office of Fair Trading in Queensland regulates public appeals for support and fundraising for community associations and charities under the Collections Act 1966 (QLD). If you want to fundraise with a raffle you will have to:
- Register a charitable association;
- Obtain a sanction using Form 5; and
- Audit your financials annually.
The Office of Liquor Gambling and Regulation also regulates raffle laws under the Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999 (QLD). It divides raffles into four categories:
- Category 1: The raffle proceeds are $2,000 or less;
- Category 2: The raffle proceeds are between $2,000 and $50,000;
- Category 3: The proceeds are more than $50,000; and
- Category 4: Trade promotions.
You will only need a licence to conduct a category three raffle.
Consumer and Business Services regulate raffles through the Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 (SA). If you are a not-for-profit organisation in South Australia, you will also have to comply with the Lottery and Gaming Act 1936 (SA).
If you are collecting money for a charitable purpose, then you will need to have a licence through Consumer and Business Services under sections 6 and 6A. If you are conducting entertainment for a charitable purpose, then you will need to apply for a section 7 licence instead.
South Australia also divides raffles into different categories for community organisations. Community organisations should have at least ten members, a management committee and a written constitution. However, you only need to apply for a permit for a major lottery where the total prize pool exceeds $5,000.
The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission regulates minor gaming which includes conducting raffles. If you want to hold a raffle, you will need to submit an application for a minor gaming permit as well as an Individual Activity Notification form. The permit is valid for 12 or 24 months, and you must complete the notification form each time you conduct a raffle.
The Commission may not require you to get a minor permit if they declare your raffle to be exempt. The Commission may declare your raffle to be exempt if the total prize pool value is less than $5,000.
In Western Australia, the Department of Racing, Gambling and Liquor regulates raffle laws under the Gaming and Wagering Commission and the Gaming and Wagering Commission Act 1987 (WA). You will need a permit or approval unless:
- The raffle is for members, guests or people who work as part of your organisation and the ticket sales and prize declarations take place within eight days, and the maximum value of the prize does not exceed $1,000;
- The raffle is for members, guests or people who work as part of your organisation and the organisation conducts the lottery on the same day as ticket sales, and the aggregate value of prizes is not more than $2,000; or
- If the total value of the prizes does not exceed $200, then tickets can still be sold to members of the public.
New South Wales
In New South Wales, the Office of Liquor, Gambling and Regulation regulates raffles under the Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 (NSW). If you are also raising funds for a charitable purpose, then the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW) applies.
To raise funds in New South Wales without a permit, you must be a not-for-profit organisation. However, you should make sure that the following information is available:
- Ticket price;
- Details of your not-for-profit organisation;
- Date, place, and time of the draw; and
- How you will notify the winners.
Prizes must also be worth $25,000 or less, and firearms, cosmetic surgery and more than 20L of liquor cannot be prizes. There are also restrictions on travel prizes.
You should also keep financial records for three months from the date of the raffle draw.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) govern raffles under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic). To conduct any raffle in Victoria, the VCGLR must declare you, and you will need to lodge your declaration 21 days before the organisation holds the raffle. The VCGLR will only declare you if you are a not-for-profit. Your declaration is valid for ten years.
If the prize pool of the raffle is greater than $5,000, you must also have a minor gaming permit. There are also different reporting requirements depending on the size of the raffle.
Running a raffle can seem daunting with the variety of regulations across Australia. However, keep it simple by determining where you will hold your raffle, your type of organisation, how much the prizes are worth and the approximate value of the tickets. With this information, you can obtain the correct licences and permits. If you need assistance with organising a raffle or trade promotion, get in touch with our competition lawyers on 1300 544 755