Apply to run a minor or major lottery

You need to apply for a permit for any lottery or game of chance in the Northern Territory (NT) where ticket sales or entry fees total more than $5,000.

Read about community gaming in the NT for more information on permits and who can apply. 

To run a lottery you must become and approved association. Read about becoming an approved association.

Before you apply

Before you apply for a lottery permit, you need to do all of the following:

  • work out the number of tickets, ticket price, rules and conditions
  • how the lottery will be drawn
  • where and how prizes will be awarded
  • organise the prizes, tickets and any promotional material.

You must provide the following for your application form: 

  • copies of promotional material
  • copies of the tickets.

Application time frames

It usually takes about 10 days to process an application. 

You must submit your application:  

  • no earlier than three months before the lottery starts 
  • no later than 14 days before the lottery start date.  

How to apply

Step 1. Fill in the conduct a minor or major lottery form. You can also get a copy from a Territory Business Centre or Licensing NT office

Step 2. Submit the form and documents in person, by email or post to a Territory Business Centre. 

Conditions on a minor or major lottery

You must follow the conditions below for all lotteries where the total value of tickets or entry fees is more than $5,000.

Conducting a lottery

You must follow all of these rules:

  • be an approved association where the authorised member is responsible for running the lottery. You must tell Licensing NT if the authorised person changes
  • comply with the Gaming Control (Community Gaming) Regulations and NT Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling
  • no-one connected with the organisation which is running the lottery can receive any kind of personal benefit from the lottery, raffle or game - there must be no payment, fee, commission, remuneration or any other benefit whatsoever
  • you cannot provide a prize for the seller of the most tickets, but you can provide a prize for the seller of the winning ticket
  • you cannot give a lottery permit to another person or organisation.

Tickets

You must follow all of the these rules:

  • you can sell tickets for a maximum of three months
  • the ticket must contain all the required information such as terms and conditions
  • 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
  • all tickets included in the draw and unsold tickets must be kept by the association for 12 months
  • if tickets are sold but not included in the draw, you must provide a refund to the buyers within 60 days. 
  • you must pay any un-refunded money to the Director-General of Licensing for contributing to the Community Benefit Fund.

Prizes

You must follow all of these rules:

  • the value of prizes must be at least one third of the total value of the tickets
  • you must not offer liquor as a principal prize, including prizes consisting solely of money and liquor
  • you must not offer firearms, weapons, ammunition, explosives or tobacco products as prizes
  • where practicable, you must display all prizes throughout the ticket selling period and give people the opportunity to see them
  • you must accurately describe the prizes on the ticket
  • you must keep all prizes until they are collected by the prize-winner, or disposed of according to the regulations
  • you must get approval from the Director-General of Licensing if you want to make any changes to prizes, the lottery duration, or the place, date or time of the draw
  • you must give all prizes as offered. Prizes unclaimed for more than three months after the date of draw must be given to the Director-General of Licensing
  • you must bank lottery proceeds as soon as possible.

Change your permit

You can ask to change a permit by applying in writing to the Director-General of Licensing. You will be notified in writing if your request has been granted and of any changes or imposed.

Drawing the winners

You must abide by all of the following rules:

  • 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. Ticket holders don't need to be present
  • if there is a dispute, complaint or investigation you must demonstrate the lottery has followed conditions
  • Two of your approved office bearers must be present at the draw. 

After the lottery

Published winners

You must publish the names of the major prize winners in a local newspaper within 14 days of the draw. You must publish the winner's names of prizes worth $1,000 or more. 

Records

You must send the following to Licensing NT after the draw: 

  • a financial statement for the lottery within two months after the draw
  • evidence that winners have received their prizes
  • evidence of profits such as bank receipts
  • originals or certified copies of all expenditure receipts 
  • a list of all tickets not included in the draw.

You must keep all financial records for: 

  • minor lotteries - for a period of two years 
  • major lottery - for a period of seven years. 

If your organisation receives a qualified annual audit report they must send it to the Director-General of Licensing withing two weeks.

If a lottery or raffle is cancelled

If the Director-General of Licensing cancels a lottery or raffle, the organiser must try to refund tickets 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: 13 October 2017