Australian Capital Territory Raffle Rules

Raffle Rules – ACT

Raffles are a time honoured and popular way to raise funds for your favourite cause. The regulations can be a bit of a minefield and vary so much State-to-State. No wonder you are wondering what the ACT raffle rules are!

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, us!), and I would not be surprised if some raffles had been abandoned 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 the ACT.

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: ACT Gambling and Racing Commission 

Key Features of Raffle Guidelines for the ACT:

    • A raffle is any lottery, scheme or arrangement involving the distribution of prizes in which prize winners are determined by means which include an element of chance or a mixture of skill and chance. A raffle usually involves the sale of tickets followed by a draw to determine the winners of certain pre-determined prizes. A prize includes anything of value or benefit.
    • Permits are not required where the proceeds go to a charitable cause and the prize value does not exceed $2,500. All other raffles require a permit in the ACT.
    • The conditions for running an ‘exempt’ raffle can be found here, and in summary:
      • each ticket or entry in the lottery must have an equal chance of winning;
      • the winning ticket or entry, and, if available, the identity of the person who holds the winning ticket or entry, must be recorded by the person conducting the lottery;
      • the person conducting the lottery must make the results of the lottery available to subscribers (for example, via a newspaper, email, website or newsletter) and if the identity of a person who holds the winning ticket or entry is known—tell the person the results of the lottery;
      • a person who wins a prize must not be charged a fee when the person receives the prize;
      • the person conducting the lottery must not conduct the lottery or advertise the lottery in a way that, having regard to the lottery participants, could be considered inappropriate or offensive;
      • for a lottery with 2 or more prizes—the major prize must be drawn first, unless a winning ticket or entry is eligible to win another prize;
      • the person conducting the lottery must do everything reasonably necessary to ensure that a person entitled to a prize in the lottery receives the prize;
      • if a prize is not claimed within a reasonable period, taking into account the nature of the prize, the person conducting the lottery must draw another winning ticket or entry; and
      • the person conducting the lottery must take reasonable steps to identify a person who holds a winning ticket or entry.
    • At the time of updating this information, the application fees for non-exempt raffles in the ACT are:
      • Greater than $2,500 and less than or equal to $5,000 $203
        Greater than $5,000 and less than or equal to $10,000 $295
        Greater than $10,000 and less than or equal to $50,000 $567
        Greater than $50,000 $811
    • The total value of tickets sold must not exceed five times the total value of prizes where the total value of prizes is less than $10,000; or ten times the total value of prizes where the total value of prizes is equal to or greater than $10,000.

    • Where the raffle requires a permit, tickets must include the following information:
      • permit number issued by the Commission;
      • the benefiting person or organisation and the purpose for which the raffle is to be conducted;
      • full list of prizes and their retail or market value;
      • any conditions attached to the prizes;
      • a sequential number;
      • the date, time and location of the draw (unless the method of determining the winner is not by draw); and
      • where and when the results will be published or how and when winners will be advised.
  • There are no restrictions on minors buying or selling raffle tickets in the ACT, except where alcohol or tobacco products are offered as prizes, in which case minors may not purchase tickets.

    Further information:

    www.gamblingandracing.act.gov.au

    Or by phoning (02) 6207 0361
    Or by emailing lotteries@act.gov.au


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