Lotteries

How lotteries must be conducted under the NSW Community Gaming Laws

Different types of lotteries

Draw lotteries

Numbered tickets are sold to people and a draw is held in which 1 or more numbers are randomly selected. Prizes are distributed to participants holding the ticket/s with the corresponding numbers.

  • Draw lotteries can only be conducted to raise funds for, or on behalf of, a charity or non-profit organisation.
  • The total value of all of prizes must not exceed $30,000.
  • A minimum 40% of the gross proceeds must be paid to the benefiting charity or non-profit organisation.

No draw lotteries

Commonly known as ‘scratchies’, people buy tickets containing hidden symbols that are revealed by removing or scratching off some covering material. Prizewinning symbols are randomly distributed among the tickets or cards.

  • No-draw lotteries can only be conducted to raise funds for, or on behalf of, a charity or non-profit organisation.
  • The total value of all prizes mustn’t exceed $5,000.
  • The total number of tickets produced or obtained for sale cannot exceed 3,000.
  • A minimum 40% of the gross proceeds must be paid to the benefiting charity or non-profit organisation.

Mini number lotteries

Also referred to as mini-Lotto, lion-ball, kick-a-ball, make-a-mark and pick-the-pack. Players pay a small entry fee to select six numbers from a possible 20. Six numbers are then drawn by organisers. If a player has correctly chosen all six, they win a prize.

  • Mini-numbers lotteries can only be conducted to raise funds for, or on behalf of, a charity or non-profit organisation.
  • The total prize value for one session of mini-numbers lottery mustn’t exceed $20,000.
  • The total prize value for one session must be at least 50% of the gross proceeds.
  • A minimum 40% of the gross proceeds must be paid to the benefiting charity or non-profit organisation.

Progressive lotteries

Entrants play a number of draws on various dates over a set period. For example, draws can occur over a number of days or weeks as specified in the rules. The most common types of progressive lotteries are hundred clubs, silver circles and tipping competitions.

  • Progressive lotteries can be conducted by anyone for any purpose.
  • There is no prize limit for progressive lotteries. However, the amount of money payable as a prize can’t exceed $7,000.

Progressive lotteries include tipping competitions.

Tipping competition rules:

  • the participants predict the outcome or results of a sporting or other contingency, and
  • points are awarded for successful predictions, and
  • the prizes are wholly distributed in accordance with the rules of the competition, and
  • periodical prizes may be awarded (in accordance with the rules of the competition).

Free lotteries

Participation is free and none of the prizes include money. This isn’t a progressive lottery or a trade promotion. Examples include lucky door or lucky seat promotions.

  • Free lotteries can be conducted by anyone for any purpose.
  • The total value of all prizes for the lottery must not exceed $30,000.
  • Participation must be free.
  • A prize in a free lottery must not include money.

Lottery authority

An authority is required to conduct a progressive lottery if the total prize value exceeds $30,000. An authority from Fair Trading is not required to conduct any other type of lottery.

If the lottery is for raising funds for a charitable or non-profit organisation, written authorisation from the benefiting organisation must be provided.

Apply for an authority

The application fee depends on the length of the authority.

Duration

Fixed Fee

Processing Fee

Total Fee

Total fee if lodged online

1 year

$105

$316

$421

$389

3 years

$316

$316

$632

$600

5 years

$527

$316

$843

$811

Notification of commencement of gaming activity

If the gaming activity requires an authority, the operator must provide a copy of the gaming rules to NSW Fair Trading at least 10 working days before the proposed lottery takes place.

Gaming activities cannot commence until notification is given via this notification form.

Who can play?

Anyone can play a lottery unless they are:

  • conducting the gaming activity, including determining who wins a prize
  • involved in the management of any benefiting organisation

Children can participate unless the rules of the lottery have an age limit.

Tickets

Tickets should include:

  • the price
  • name of the person or organisation conducting the gaming activity
  • name of the benefiting organisation (if applicable)
  • authority number (if applicable)

Selling tickets

There is no restriction on who can sell tickets in a lottery.

However, ticket sellers must return all ticket butts, unsold tickets and the gross proceeds of ticket sales to the operator before the draw takes place.

Changes to the gaming activity

An operator can change how the lottery activity is conducted as long as the change mean the gaming activity is still conducted fairly and impartially.

The operator must notify players of the change or make the information publicly available within a reasonable time before the activity takes place.

For progressive lotteries requiring an authority, all substantial changes to rules must be notified to NSW Fair Trading by filling out a Changes to Gaming Activity form

Changes may include

  • prizes or prize value
  • the date or method prize winners are determined
  • the authority holder
  • a significant change in the number of tickets

Ticketing errors

A player's right to a prize isn't affected due to an error in the production of tickets or cards.

Prizes

Prizes can be anything not on the prohibited list.

Prohibited prizes include:

  • a firearm, ammunition, imitation firearms or a prohibited weapon within the meaning of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998
  • tobacco, smoking or vaping product
  • cosmetic surgery and other procedures under Division 1A of Part 3 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966
  • more than 20 litres of liquor with an alcohol content not exceeding 20% by volume or more than 5 litres of liquor with an alcohol content exceeding 20% by volume
  • any other prize that contravenes any other law of this State or the Commonwealth . For example,  the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW) and Gaming Machines Act 2001 (NSW)

Advertising

The art union rules must be clearly advertised so potential participants can­ make informed decisions about entering.

Where it’s not possible to publish the rules in an advertisement or on a ticket, the included information must state where the rules can be found such as a website.

Advertising material must not:

  • depict children participating in the gaming activity
  • suggest that winning will be a definite outcome of participating in the gaming activity
  • suggest that participating in the gaming activity will definitely improve a person’s financial prospects
  • encourage a breach of the law

If your gaming activity requires an authority, all advertising material must clearly display the authority number.

Administration

Where applicable, the following requirements apply to gaming activities.

Organiser expenses

Unless participation is free, you may incur reasonable expenses for:

  • the cost of producing or obtaining the tickets or cards
  • advertising and promotion
  • hiring or operating a device, or premises
  • the cost of prizes, and prize money
  • salaries, wages and commission paid to persons assisting in the conduct of the gaming activity
  • auditing accounts relating to the gaming activity
  • other amounts that, under an authority, a person or organisation is permitted to deduct from money received in connection with the gaming activity.

Commissions

Commission and other payments can be paid except from funds received from conducting a progressive or mini-numbers lottery.

No payment may be made as a salary, wage, fee, commission, percentage or other benefit to anyone who conducts a progressive or mini-numbers lottery.

Proceeds

You must deposit proceeds from your gaming activity into an account at an authorised deposit-taking institution no later than 2 business days after the money is received.

Record keeping

Appropriate records must be kept for a period the operator thinks fit.

Records may include:

  • all expenses incurred
  • the date on or period during which the gaming activity was conducted
  • the date on which prize winners were determined and announced
  • prizes and total prize value offered
  • gross proceeds
  • proceeds paid to the benefiting organisation (if applicable) and the ratio of those proceeds to the gross proceeds received, expressed as a percentage
  • if practicable, the names and contact details of prize winners and prizes won.

For progressive lotteries with a prize value exceeding $30,000, additional records must be kept including:

  • all income and expenses including related assets and liabilities
  • the total amount of money (including donations) received from participants
  • number of tickets printed, obtained or generated (if applicable)
  • number of tickets sold or distributed for sale (if applicable)
  • the number of unsold tickets (if applicable)
  • the names and contact details of all persons who bought tickets

However, records aren’t required for a progressive lottery where the total amount received from ticket sales is less than $10,000, and the gross proceeds are wholly applied towards prizes or returned to players in accordance with the rules.

Auditing

If the annual gross proceeds of a gaming activity exceed $250,000, accounts must be audited by a qualified auditor. This includes accounts that relate to receipts and expenses.

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