Raffle Laws Victoria
Raffles are a time honoured and popular way to raise funds for your favourite cause. A raffle could be loosely defined as any game of chance where there is a limited number of tickets sold, and where each ticket has the same chance of winning as every other ticket sold. But as you know, there are a million and one ways to go about a raffle. From parking a wheelbarrow full of goodies outside the local shops, to raffling off fancy houses on the Gold Coast, to a good old Friday night chook raffle or meat tray draw at the pub (yes, chook raffles are still alive and well).
In fact you could be forgiven for thinking that the only limits on running a raffle are the number of helpers you can rope in, and your imagination. But you would be wrong.
Raffles are classified by all Australian States and Territories as ‘gaming’ and, alongside casinos and licensed clubs, raffles are subject to regulation designed to protect the consumer, and the people conducting the gaming. The maze of legislation and regulation which surrounds raffles can be very daunting to the small community based fundraiser [or, for that matter, to the editor. Ed.], and I would not be surprised if some raffles had been still-born in the face of it.
As the best way to avoid accidentally breaking gaming laws is to be informed, we thought it would be useful to assemble a quick-reference guide to raffle regulations in Victoria.
A note of caution: this article is intended only as a general guide. Whilst the information provided is correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of publication, we strongly advise anyone who is planning to conduct a raffle to seek the advice of the regulating authority below.
Regulating Agency: Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
- Raffles Laws in Victoria may only be conducted by organisations which have been ‘declared’ a genuine community or charitable organisation by the Victorian Commission for Gaming Regulation. Organisations wishing to apply for a declaration can do so via the VCGR website, and should allow at least 28 days for approval.
- Raffles whose total prize value exceeds $5,000 in value must obtain a permit from the Commission (in addition to being a ‘declared’ organisation). At the time of writing (November 2014) permits cost $46.30. Any alterations to the terms of the permit will incur a further fee of $26.50.
- At present there no restrictions on minors buying or selling raffle tickets in Victoria (minors are not permitted to buy or sell raffle tickets where liquor is included in the prizes). However, the Commission may on occasion attach a condition to a permit restricting who can purchase tickets.
- The legislation expressly prohibits the use of money, stocks and shares as prizes, unless the prize is an accommodation or travel prize in which case some spending money may be included. If the prize is an accommodation or travel prize the value of the cash included cannot exceed 10% of that prize’s total value.
- Raffles whose sales are $500 or less have only ONE DAY to sell their tickets or sell the tickets within an 8 hour period. Raffles between $501 and $5000 have three months to sell their tickets. Raffles greater than $5,001 will have 12 months or less.
- Where prize value exceeds $500, ticket sellers are required to collect ticket buyers’ contact details.
- Raffles whose prize value exceeds $500 are required to have printed tickets. Each ticket must show the following information:
– the name of the declared community or charitable organisation to benefit from the raffle
– the permit number, where a minor gaming permit is required and has been issued
– the ticket price and the maximum number of tickets authorised by a permit
– a description of each prize and its value
– when and where the raffle will be drawn, and the method of publication or notification of the results
Further information is available at the VCGLR website at www.vcglr.vic.gov.au
Or by phoning 1300 182 457
Or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org