Major and minor lotteries

A major lottery is a fundraiser conducted by an association, where the total retail value of all prizes is more than $5,000, and the winners are decided by lot or draw. A licence is needed before any major lottery can begin or be advertised. The licence number must be included on all tickets and in all lottery advertising.

A minor lottery is a fundraiser conducted by an association where the total retail value of all prizes is $5,000 or less. You don't need a licence for a minor lottery.


Anyone can enter a lottery.

An association can’t enter a lottery it is running, but an individual committee member can enter if the association’s rules allow it.


Funds raised through any lottery can only be used for religious, educational, charitable or benevolent purposes and can include:

  • promoting literature, science or the arts
  • providing medical treatment or promoting the interests of someone who has a particular physical, mental or intellectual disability
  • establishing, running or improving a community centre
  • promoting the interests of a local community or group
  • sport, recreation or amusement
  • promoting animal welfare
  • conserving resources or preserving the environmental, historical or cultural heritage of South Australia
  • promoting the interests of students or education staff
  • political purpose
  • promoting the common interests of people connected to a business, trade or industry.

The funds raised can’t be used to benefit a member of the association or a registered corporation that returns profits to its members.

At least 15% of a minor lottery and 35% of a major lottery, as well as all net proceeds, must be used for an approved purpose.

If the gross proceeds don’t cover the cost of all prizes, the association must make up the difference and notify Consumer and Business Services in writing.


Major and minor lotteries

All tickets must be sold at the same price - other than any bonus or free tickets - and have an equal chance of winning.

Major lotteries – the maximum number of tickets is stated on the licence.

All tickets must include:

Buyer's section

  • lottery licence number - major lottery
  • ticket number
  • price and the total number of tickets
  • name of the association running the lottery
  • association benefiting from the funds raised
  • prizes and their value
  • number of bonus or free tickets
  • terms and conditions of entry, for example – people under 18 years old unable to enter
  • date, time, day and venue of the lottery draw
  • newspaper and date for publishing the results.

Seller's section - ticket butt

  • lottery licence number – major lottery only
  • same ticket number as shown on ticket buyer’s section
  • name, address and phone number of the ticket buyer
  • name of the association benefitting from funds raised
  • date the lottery will be drawn.

Rules for ticket sales

  • ticket sellers must have clear instructions on the ticket book cover for major and minor lotteries
  • children under 15 years old can only sell tickets if they are with an adult
  • a ticket must not be given or posted without consent. Letters can be sent to people inviting them to buy tickets, but tickets must not be included.
  • for major lotteries, tickets can’t be sold before the start date on the licence.

Each ticket seller must:

  • be given a certificate or authority from the association
  • give the association a receipt for the ticket books
  • make sure ticket butts include the name and address of the buyer
  • return all unsold tickets, ticket butts and proceeds from ticket sales before the lottery is drawn
  • if paid a commission, pay the net proceeds to the association by cheque or deposit into the association’s bank account.

There is no legal time limit for a lottery, however, Consumer and Business Services recommend no longer than four months.

Advertising and incentives


Advertising or promoting any lottery must include:

  • enough information for people to understand the chances of winning when the lottery ends
  • how often a prize or prizes can be won.

Advertising or promoting any lottery must not:

  • be aimed at people aged under 18 years old or show them gambling
  • suggest that the lottery can fix personal or financial problems or to cover expenses
  • imply that the lottery can increase social, sexual or employment opportunities
  • exaggerate the prizes or suggest the chance of winning is better than it is
  • suggest that someone’s skill means a better chance of winning
  • link the lottery with drinking too much alcohol
  • exaggerate the connection between the lottery and how the proceeds will be used.

Major lottery advertisements must state the lottery licence number.

A minor lottery must not be advertised or promoted on:

  • radio, weekdays between 6.00 am and 8.30 am
  • television, weekdays between 4.00 pm and 7.30 pm.


An association can encourage lottery ticket sales by offering:

  • bonus tickets - for example, buy ten tickets and get one free. A number of bonus tickets must be included in the total amount of tickets available. Details of the offer must be included on each ticket and apply for the whole time that tickets are on sale.
  • gifts and rewards - for example, the ticket seller who sells the winning ticket receives a gift or reward. However, alcohol can’t be offered to encourage people to participate in the lottery.

Conduct and conditions

Allow enough time for each phase of the lottery, including printing tickets, advertising, collection of ticket butts, drawing of winners and publishing the results.

The association is responsible for making sure the lottery follows all necessary rules and regulations.

In special circumstances, an association can ask for a lottery rule to be waived if it is fair to lottery participants. Additional conditions may be needed if a waiver is granted.


Major and minor lotteries must be drawn:

  • on the day, time and place stated
  • under the supervision of the association
  • in front of any ticket holders who want to be there
  • in front of an independent scrutineer.

Participants don’t have to be present when the lottery is drawn to win a prize. A prize can't 'jackpot' or a new ticket drawn if the winner isn't there.

Scrutineer and auditor


A scrutineer must be either:

  • a commissioner for taking affidavits in the Supreme Court
  • a justice of the peace
  • a notary public
  • any other person authorised to take declarations under the Oaths Act 1936
  • a person authorised by the minister to be a scrutineer
  • on the Australian Government Attorney-General's list of authorised witnesses for statutory declarations.


The auditor of the lottery must be a member of either:

  • Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
  • National Institute of Accountants.

The auditor must:

  • take reasonable steps to make sure the association keeps proper records for the lottery
  • audit the tickets and record the number of tickets sold, unsold or lost
  • allow enough time for the audit so the association can provide a financial statement in line with Lottery and Gaming Regulations
  • complete the auditor's report attached to the lotteries financial statement.

Banking and record keeping

Net proceeds of major and minor lotteries must be paid into a financial institution or bank account operated by the association.

A financial statement (30KB PDF) outlining the lottery's outcome must be sent to CBS within one month of the draw. The auditor must complete the auditor’s report which is attached to the financial statement.

The association must keep a record of:

  • number of ticket books issued
  • names and addresses of people who were issued tickets
  • number of tickets sold, returned unsold or lost – tickets that aren't returned are considered lost
  • all income and expenses relating to the lottery.

The accounts and records must be kept for at least three months for minor lotteries and one year for major lotteries.

CBS can ask to inspect during that time:

  • accounts
  • records
  • ticket butts
  • unsold tickets.

Publishing results

For each prize valued at over $250, the number of prize-winning tickets must be published in a newspaper circulating throughout the state within seven days of the draw for a major lottery.

If the winner is not present when the lottery is drawn, notify them in writing within four days of the draw, and tell them how the prize can be delivered or collected.


Anyone who acts dishonestly in connection with the lottery is guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty is $50,000 or 2 years imprisonment.

If the association is guilty of an offence and receives a penalty, the same applies to:

  • each member of the management committee
  • board of directors
  • chief executive officer
  • any employee responsible for the conduct of the lottery.

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 4 October 2019

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Attorney-General's Department
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