Gambling Rules & Regulations

The Northern Territory Justice Department publish a comprehensive fact sheet titled “Lotteries and raffles by Approved Associations” detailing the fundraising licensing obligations and conditions of clubs.

This NT Department of Justice website factsheet can be downloaded by clicking:

Information contained in the Raffle Information Condition Booklet can be summarised as follows:

Who can Conduct a Lottery or Raffle in the Northern Territory?

Only approved associations may conduct lotteries, raffles and games.  Approved associations are generally defined as an association, society, institution or body who conducts its business either entirely or partially in the Northern Territory and was formed or carries out its business for any of the following purposes:

  • Religious, educational, benevolent or charitable;
  • Providing medical treatment or attention;
  • Promoting or encouraging literature, science, art or a cultural activity;
  • Recreation or amusement;
  • Beautifying or improving a community centre

An approved association is an association approved by the Director of Licensing for the purpose of the Gaming Control Act. An association incorporated under the Associations Act does not automatically make it an approved association.

Are Permits Required?

Generally where approved associations wish to conduct a type of Raffles, Tipping Competitions, Minor Lotteries, Sweepstakes, Major Lotteries, Calcuttas, Bingo, Free entry lotteries or Mini-lotto a permit is not required if the value of the tickets available for sale does not exceed $5,000.

What Conditions and Restrictions Apply when Conducting Lotteries and Games of Chance?

Approved associations conducting any form of lottery, raffle or game of chance must observe and adhere to the following conditions which are set out in the Application Form. Get application form

  • The lottery, raffle or game of chance must be conducted in accordance with the Gaming Control (Community Gaming) Regulations and guidelines issued by the Director of Licensing.
  • The value of the prizes to be distributed in the lottery, raffle or game of chance must not be less than one-third of the total value of the tickets (entry fee) that may be sold in the lottery, raffle or game.
  • Liquor must not be a “principal prize” in a lottery, raffle or game of chance (this includes prizes consisting solely of money and liquor). Firearms, weapons, ammunition, explosives and tobacco products must not be offered as prizes.
  • The approved association must clearly state the rules and conditions of the lottery, raffle or game of chance in writing, including:
  • The prizes offered,
  • When the ticket will be drawn, the draw method and how each winner is to be determined.
  • These rules and conditions must be clearly indicated on all promotion of the lottery, raffle or game.
  • The lottery, raffle or game of chance must be drawn on the date specified and prizes shall be awarded to the winners in strict accordance with the rules of the lottery, raffle or game.
  • In the event of any dispute, complaint or investigation concerning the conduct or outcome of a lottery, raffle or game, it shall be the sole responsibility of the organiser, at the organiser’s cost, to demonstrate compliance with these conditions to the reasonable satisfaction of the Director of Licensing.
  • No person or association whether or not it is connected with the approved association, shall receive a payment, fee, commission, remuneration or any other benefit whatsoever in relation to the organisation or conduct of a lottery, raffle or game.
  • Prizes subject to restrictions and conditions, such as travel prizes, must clearly display the term “Conditions Apply” on the ticket and any lottery, raffle or game promotion.
  • The lottery, raffle or game shall be conducted in a manner that complies with the NT Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling.
  • All prizes must be given as offered.
  • All tickets included in the draw, and those unsold, must be retained by the association for a period of 12 months.

Additional conditions apply to minor and major lotteries.

Minor Lotteries

A Minor Lottery is a game of chance similar to a raffle where the total tickets available for sale are between $5,001 and $20,000.

Major Lotteries

A Major Lottery is a game of chance or chance and skill, where total tickets available for sale is greater than $20,000.

Records to be kept and for how long?

Approved associations must ensure that full records associated with the running of lotteries or games are kept for at least two years. Records relating to a major lottery must be kept for a period of seven years.

The records to be kept include:

  • Entries
  • Prizes
  • Income and expenditure
  • Discounts, rebates or other allowances received in relation to the purchase of prizes
  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Evidence of prizes being awarded

The records are to be auditable through the financial statements of the association.

Do the Financial Statements need Auditing?

Yes, but it does not need to be a separate process to the association’s annual audit process. An association must ensure that their financial records relating to lotteries, raffles and games of chance are audited by an approved person.

This individual must then prepare a report stating if the financial records relating to the lotteries, raffles and games of chance are a true and fair view of financial matters relating to those activities. Audit reports must be retained and made available to licensing inspectors on request. If a qualified audit report is issued (with concerns raised), it must be submitted to the Director of Licensing within 14 days of the report being received by the association.


Leave a Comment