Raffles and Bingo and the GST

Written by the ATO

Questions and Answers

  • What is the definition of a raffle?

    A raffle is a game of chance where the prizes are either goods or cash or a combination of the two. Where the prize is cash only the charity must be careful that they do not contravene state lottery laws. A supply of a raffle that contravenes the state lottery laws will not be GST free.

  • How will the ATO deal with minor or unintended breaches of State and Territory Law with regards to raffles and bingo?

    Raffles or bingo run by charities will be GST-free if conducting the raffle or bingo does not contravene a State or Territory law. Where a breach of the State or Territory law occurs in a tax period a supply of a raffle ticket or bingo by a charity will be a taxable supply.

    In certain circumstances the relevant State or Territory authority, eg the Office of Lotteries in NSW may exercise its discretion to ignore such a breach because of its minor or unintended nature. As a result the raffle does not contravene the State law. In this case the supply would be GST-free. The ATO cannot comment on how a State or Territory will interpret or apply its laws.

    The ATO does not plan to issue any regulations with respect to raffles and bingo run by charities at this time.

  • How wide will be the definition of raffle and bingo as GST-free activities? Are lotteries, art unions and lucky wheels considered to fit within these definitions?

    Supplies of raffles and bingo by charitable institutions are GST-free if they do not contravene State or Territory law. Generally, when activities require the purchase of a ticket and are liable to chance then they will be considered GST-free. These types of activities will be the subject of regulations

  • For direct Internet links to more information on these types of fundraising - including any forms your group might need - follow this link to Our Community's Best of Community page.