Lotteries

The Lotteries Act 1964 (the Act) provides for a wide range of lottery-type activities such as Trade Promotion Lotteries, Raffles, Housie, Calcuttas, Card Jackpot Raffles and Lucky Envelope Raffles. Specific conditions apply to each type of lottery.

When is a permit required

Generally, a permit is required when ACT residents are able to enter a lottery or when the lottery is advertised to ACT residents. Any organisation or business advertising a lottery in the ACT that is not an exempt lottery must obtain a permit before the lottery can be conducted.

Definition of Advertising

In this context, advertised includes:

  • a notice or mention on television, radio or other public broadcast;
  • a notice or mention in a newspaper, magazine, pamphlet, leaflet, flyer, direct mail (specific address), general mail (non specific address), internet, e-mail, SMS, MMS, fax billboard, sign, poster, banner or other publicly available printed material; or
  • any other method of communicating the conduct of the lottery to the public (excluding material forwarded directly to or made available to members only).

When is a permit not required

When the determination of the prize winner involves skill only (i.e. no element of chance is involved), an approval is not required. In this context, "skill" means any competition that involves a decision or input by the participant, such as guessing a sound or number or weight, submitting a description of an item or activity or describing or stating reasons for liking something. Skill may also include ay event or competition that is judged by people qualified in a field relevant to the event or competition.

A permit is not required for an "exempt" lottery. Exempt lotteries include:

  • a Trade Promotion Lottery where the total prize value does not exceed $3000;
  • a Raffle where the total prize value does not exceed $2,500;
  • a Housie session where the total prize value of each session does not exceed $1,000;
  • a Calcutta event where the total prize value does not exceed $1,000;
  • a lottery where "prizes" or rewards consist totally of the granting of rebates, discounts or other allowances in respect of amounts payable, or the granting of refunds of amounts paid for goods sold or services performed in the course of carrying on that trade or business which are equally available to all customers; or
  • a lottery which comes within the definition of a private lottery as defined in the Lotteries Act 1964 (where participation is restricted to members of the same association or who work or reside in the same premises and where there is no external advertising of the promotion).

Lotteries that do not fit within these parameters require a permit before they can be advertised and operated in the ACT.

Lotteries that fit within these parameters do not require a permit to be conducted in the ACT, however they must conform to legislative requirements that are detailed in the Act. These requirements are detailed in the Exempt Lotteries Information and Conditions sheet available on this website.

If a lottery is conducted via a web site a permit is not required unless:

  • the web site is hosted in the ACT; or
  • the web site is not hosted in the ACT but the lottery is being advertised in the ACT in addition to the advertising on the web site.

How do I apply for a permit

Permits for Trade Promotion Lotteries and Raffles

An online lodgment facility is now available and this is the Commission's preferred method for receiving applications for Trade Promotion permits. Applicants will receive an email confirmation which includes a receipt for the payment and a tracking code.

For Permits other than Trade Promotion Lotteries and Raffles

You must complete the application form relevant to the type of lottery you wish to conduct. The approved application form in its entirety must be completed and signed by the organisation responsible for the lottery, or their agent and be lodged with the Commission with the relevant fee and supporting documentation (such as rules or terms and conditions of the lottery).

Lodgement of Application Forms other than Trade Promotion Lotteries and Raffles

An application form may be emailed to the Commission at: lotteries@act.gov.au.

(Please note: a signature is required on both the application form and payment authorisation)

Applications are placed in queue as received and are not processed in order of urgency. A period of 7 working days must be allowed for the processing once your applications and all relevant information is received. Application forms are available from the relevant lottery page.

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