Major and minor lotteries

A major lottery is a fundraiser conducted by an organisation, 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 organisation 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, subject to certain requirements and any restrictions outlined in the terms and conditions.

An organisation, or member of a management committee of an organisation, can’t enter a lottery it's running.

Anyone involved in the conduct or promotion of the lottery (whether as principal, agent or employee) can't enter that lottery.


Funds raised through any lottery can only be used for an approved purpose and can include:

  • promoting literature, science or the arts
  • a religious, educational charitable or benevolent purpose
  • 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
  • any other purpose approved by the commissioner.

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

At least 20% 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 organisation must make up the difference and notify Consumer and Business Services (CBS) 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 organisation running the lottery
  • organisation 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 (or email) of the ticket buyer
  • name of the organisation 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 mustn't 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 organisation
  • give the organisation a receipt for the ticket books
  • make sure ticket butts include the name and either the address, phone number or email 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 organisation by cheque or deposit into the organisation’s bank account.

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 demonstrate 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
  • the nature and value of the prizes to be won
  • how to locate a copy of the full terms and conditions
  • the total number of tickets available.


An organisation 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 organisation is responsible for making sure the lottery follows all necessary rules and regulations.

In special circumstances, an organisation 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 organisation
  • in front of any ticket holders who want to be there
  • in front of:
    • an independent scrutineer for major lotteries with total prizes of $30,000 or more
    • an independent person not associated with the licensee or the lottery.

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 commissioner to be a scrutineer


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

  • CPA Australia
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Institute of Public Accountants.

Where the total prize value of the lottery is $30,000 or more, the auditor must:

  • take reasonable steps to make sure the organisation 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 organisation can provide a financial statement in line with the lotteries 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 organisation

Where the total prize pool is under $30,000 a financial statement outlining the lottery's outcome must be sent to CBS within one month of the draw.

Where the total prize pool is $30,000 or more, a financial statement outlining the lottery's outcome must be sent to CBS within two months of the draw.

Once the financial statement has been finalised, if the total prize pool is $30,000 or more, the lottery auditor will be prompted to certify the financial statement.

The organisation 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.

Publishing results

For a major lottery, each prize valued at over $250 and the number of prize-winning tickets, must be published within 30 days of the draw using the method specified in the terms and conditions.

If a winner isn't present when the lottery is drawn, notify them in writing within seven 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 organisation 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 Lotteries

Contact form

131 882 (option 6)

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 9 January 2023

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