Background to the regulatory framework
The Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 is the principle statute regulating the operation of minor gaming, or community-based lottery activities, in NSW. The Act regulates common forms of community gaming such as raffles and bingo. The Act does not relate to commercial-based lottery games conducted by the NSW Lotteries Corporation or other licensees in accordance with the Public Lotteries Act 1996.
The Act is structured so that a blanket prohibition is imposed on the selling or disposing of money or property by way of chance. The Act then provides exceptions to the prohibition. Certain lotteries and game of chance may be legally conducted provided they accord with the Act, Regulations and any applicable permit conditions.
The principal object of the Act is to ensure that, on balance, the State and the community as a whole benefit from certain lottery activities.
The Act seeks to achieve that balance by allowing, in the public interest, the conduct of lottery activities subject to a system of regulation and control designed to protect players and the community through:
- restricting who may conduct and benefit from lottery activities
- ensuring the integrity and fairness of lottery activities
- ensuring the probity of those involved in the conduct of lottery activities
- minimising the potential for harm from lottery activities.
Particular objects of the Act include:
- to set and maintain appropriate standards and levels of accountability for the conduct of lottery activities
- to ensure that the public obtains reasonable net benefits from the conduct of lottery activities
- to ensure that lottery activities are not exploited for personal gain by those conducting the lottery activities
- to maintain and protect the integrity of lottery activities
- to assist the ongoing viability of organisations conducting lottery activities that have developed in the public interest and contribute positively to the community
- to ensure the proceeds and profits of lottery activities are applied to the particular purposes, or go to the persons or organisations, in accordance with representations made during the conduct of the lottery activities.
The Lotteries and Art Unions Act does not allow the promotion or advertising of a lottery or the selling or distribution of tickets in a lottery which is conducted outside Australia.
You can promote or advertise a lottery or sell or distribute tickets in New South Wales in respect of an interstate community-based lottery provided you comply with New South Wales’ requirements. Further information is available from the Conduct of Interstate Lotteries Fact Sheet (445 kb).
Copies of the legislation may be purchased from the NSW Government Information Bookshop, Goodsell Building, 8-12 Chifley Square (cnr Phillip and Hunter Streets), 1300 656 986.
Alternatively, the NSW Legislation Database provides free on-line access to NSW legislation. Our office cannot assume responsibility for any information it contains.