Raffles & other minor gaming activities

This section of the PilchConnect website contains brief information about the main legal issues that may arise for Victorian community organisations when they seek to raise money by holding:

  • a raffle;
  • a bingo event;
  • a fundraising event involving minor gaming (for example, a poker or casino night); or
  • a lottery, lucky envelopes or sweepstakes.

On this page, we will refer to these collectively as ‘raffles and minor gaming activities’. This website has further information pages on the specific requirements that relate to each type of raffle or gaming activity, and links to these are set out further below.

Please note that this website contains information about the laws in Victoria which regulate raffles and gaming activities. Each Australian State and Territory has its own rules in relation to raffles and gaming activities.  Your organisation may need to register in multiple jurisdictions if it intends to undertake gaming activities in more than one State or Territory. A link to other States’ and Territories’ gaming laws has been included in the Related Resources section below.

The information on this website is intended as a guide only, and is not legal advice. If you or your organisation has a legal problem you should talk to a lawyer before making a decision about what to do.

What laws apply to raffles and minor gaming activities in Victoria?

In Victoria, the rules regarding the conduct of raffles, bingo, fundraising events involving minor gaming activities, lotteries and lucky envelopes are found in the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic) and the Gambling Regulation Regulations 2005 (Vic) (Victoria’s gambling laws).

Victoria’s gambling laws are administered and regulated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR), which is a government agency under the Victorian Department of Justice.

Can our organisation conduct a raffle or other minor gaming activities?

Under Victoria’s gambling laws, a community organisation is only able to conduct raffles and minor activities when:

  • it has applied to the VCGR and been declared (registered) as either a community organisation or a charitable organisation; and
  • in most cases, where it has applied to the VCGR and received a permit known as a ‘minor gaming permit’ for the kind of activity it is undertaking.

How do we get ‘declared’ as a community or charitable organisation?

To be ‘declared’ (registered) your organisation has to apply to the VCGR. The application form and details of the information you must provide the VCGR is available in the VCGR's Declaration Pack. A link to their site and this publication has been included in the Related Resources section below.

In general, to be 'declared' an organisation must demonstrate that it is conducted in good faith and exists for a charitable purpose, a sporting or recreational purpose, or is a registered political party. You will be required to attach your organisation's rules or constitution, and the VCGR will be looking to see that your organisation's constitution contains a certain type of 'winding up' clause. For further information about 'winding up' clauses see our not-for-profit fact sheet at Getting started > Before you start.

Your organisation will need to apply and provide the VCGR with required information at least 21 days before you plan to conduct the raffle or gaming activity. If your organisation is approved, the VCGR will advise you in writing and include a declaration number.

If your organisation is not approved, you have appeal rights. You must exercise these appeal rights within 28 days of receiving notice of the VCGR's decision. Your organisation may wish to seek legal advice if you wish to appeal a decision of the VCGR. 

For some types of raffles and most types of gaming activities your organisation will also require a minor gaming permit (see next section).

What are the requirements for applying for a ‘minor gaming permit’?

In addition to being 'declared' (see above), certain gaming events/activities also require community organisations to obtain a minor gaming permit.

Nominee

When applying for permits, community organisations must nominate a person over the age of 18 years who is to be responsible for the conduct of the activities. This person must also undergo a police check. They are known as the nominee. If the nominee leaves your organisation, you need to advise the VCGR and provide details of an alternative nominee. 

Permit Application

Your organisation’s permit application needs to be sent to the VCGR not less than 21 days before the event/activity takes place. The application will have to include details of your organisation’s declaration (see above), an application fee and details of the events.

Which permit you will require will depend on the kind of raffle or activity you are under taking (see the next section). If your organisation is approved for a permit, it will receive notice of the permit (and any conditions attached) from the VCGR. If your organisation wants a change made to the permit, you will have to apply to the VCGR for an amendment and another fee applies.

Appeal rights

If your organisation is not approved, you have appeal rights. You must exercise these appeal rights within 28 days of receiving notice of the VCGR's decision. Your organisation may wish to seek legal advice if you wish to appeal a decision of the VCGR. 

What are the specific requirements for each kind of raffle or gaming activity?

To find out more about whether a minor gaming permit is required, and the specific legal requirements for each kind of activity, see the following pages:

What penalties apply if we conduct a raffle or gaming without being 'declared' and/or having a permit?

Under Victoria's gambling laws, it is an offence to conduct a raffle or other minor gaming activity without being 'declared' and having a current minor gaming permit (if it is required). The penalties range from approximately $2,400 - $7,200 (as at 1 July 2010).

Related Resources

Related legislation

Related links - Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) resources

Related links - other jurisdictions

Content last updated: 07/06/11