Lotteries and community gambling

Apply to run a trade lottery

A trade lottery is a game of chance conducted by a Northern Territory (NT) business or approved association for promotional purposes, and can involve elements of chance and skill.

Find out how to become an approved association.

If you're an interstate business or association that has a lottery permit in another state or territory, you can also run the lottery in the NT without a local permit.

You don't need a permit for a:

  • minor trade lottery which has prizes to the value of $5,000 or less
  • major trade lottery where prizes total more than $5,000.

How to apply

To apply to run a trade lottery, follow these steps:

Step 1. Get all information you need to complete the application.

Step 2. Fill in the application to conduct a trade lottery, which you can also get from a Territory Business Centre or Licensing NT.

Application to conduct a trade lottery DOCX (72.7 KB)
Application to conduct a trade lottery PDF (645.3 KB)

Step 3. Submit your application in person or post it to a Territory Business Centre.

You should allow at least 10 days for your application to be processed.

Varying a permit

You can apply in writing to the Director-General of Licensing to vary a permit.

You must outline the change requested and reasons for it. You will be notified in writing if your request has been granted.

Conditions for trade lotteries

Both major and minor trade lotteries must meet all of the following standard conditions:

  • you must run a trade lottery in accordance with the Gaming Control (Community Gaming) Regulations 2006
  • you must run it in a way that complies with the NT Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling
  • you must not include a prohibited game
  • entry must be free but can be conditional on buying goods or services
  • each entry must have an equal chance of winning the major prize
  • liquor must not be a principal prize - this includes prizes consisting solely of money and liquor
  • you cannot offer firearms, weapons, ammunition, explosives or tobacco products as prizes
  • you must not award a prize to a person under 18 years old - includes liquor, goods or services that are restricted by law to people over 18 years old
  • you must clearly state all of the following on entry forms and promotional material:
    • the lottery terms and conditions - terms and conditions must be fair and equitable
    • the permit number - if applicable
    • the period in which it is being run
    • the draw date
    • details of how the winners are determined
    • how winners will be notified
  • if prizes are subject to restrictions and conditions, such as travel prizes, you must clearly display the term 'conditions apply' on the ticket and any promotion
  • no employees of the business or their family members may participate
  • the lottery must be drawn on the date specified, and prizes awarded to the winners as set out in the lottery's terms and conditions
  • if there is a dispute, complaint or investigation about the conduct or outcome of a lottery, the business conducting the lottery must demonstrate to the reasonable satisfaction of the Director-General of Licensing that it has complied with these conditions
  • you must publish the names of the major prize winners in a local or a national newspaper.

Lottery publicity

Any lottery publicity must not be misleading and must show the permit number (if applicable) and the rules and conditions.

If you publicise a major trade lottery before you have been granted a permit, the promotional material must state it is subject to approval and will not proceed if the permit is not granted.

Before prizes are collected

You must hold onto prizes until they are:

  • collected by the winners or
  • they are to be disposed of under the rules for unclaimed prizes - see below.

If the prize is property and includes a house or other buildings, you must maintain the buildings and insure them for their full market value against loss or damage, until the property can transferred to the winner.

You are able to receive rent or profits from the property until the transfer of ownership.

Unclaimed prizes

If prizes are still unclaimed after 3 months, you must surrender them to the Director-General of Licensing if they do not contain perishable goods.

You can sell unclaimed prizes containing perishable goods for a reasonable price and use the money to support the approved association.

Changes to draw arrangements

If you can't draw the lottery as proposed or approved, you can apply to the Director-General of Licensing to change the place, date or time.

If the change is approved, it must be publicly advertised.

With all lotteries and raffles, the Director-General of Licensing may instruct a lottery to be drawn and prizes awarded if circumstances require it.

Published results

You must publish the results of the draw in a local newspaper or the specific publication stated in the lottery terms and conditions.

Keeping records

‚ÄčThe person running the trade lottery must keep full records for at least 2 years.

These must include:

  • entries
  • prizes
  • publication of winners
  • evidence of prizes being awarded.

You must make records available in the event of an investigation.

If a lottery or raffle is cancelled

If the Director-General of Licensing cancels a lottery or raffle, the organiser must take reasonable steps to issue refunds to ticket buyers within 60 days.

Any unrefunded money must be paid to the Director-General of Licensing for contributing to the Community Benefit Fund.

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Last updated: 15 July 2022

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