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Housie, Lotteries, Games of Chance, Prize Competitions and Instant Games (Class 1, 2 and 3 Gambling)


Housie, lotteries (including raffles and sweepstakes), games of chance, prize competitions and instant games are common forms of class 1, 2 or 3 gambling.

Gambling that falls within the categories of class 1 or class 2 gambling does not require a licence. Class 3 gambling does require a licence.

Please note that gambling conducted by the Lotteries Commission, such as Lotto and Keno does not fall within the categories of class 1, 2 or 3 gambling.

If you want to run a lottery or sales promotion scheme from outside New Zealand, contact the Gaming Compliance Unit.

For more information see the following Gambling Act 2003 Fact Sheets:
Lotteries
A lottery is gambling that involves a random draw that takes place after all participants have entered. Raffles and sweepstakes are common types of lotteries.

Prize Competitions
Unlike a lottery, a prize competition is gambling that requires participants to exercise some knowledge or skill.
Games of Chance
A game of chance is gambling that does not include a lottery, prize competition, instant game, gaming machine or casino gambling.
Instant Games
An instant game is gambling where a winning ticket or entry is determined before or simultaneously with the sale of tickets randomly or wholly by chance. *This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.


Housie
Housie is gambling where:
  • the numbers are selected randomly and announced to participants;
  • the participants mark or cover the numbers announced on their own cards;
  • the winners are participants who mark or cover any given arrangement of the numbers on their card and announce that fact openly to the other participants and to the organisers; and includes any other games played in a similar manner to that specified above.

Under the Gambling Act 2003, housie can be a class 1, class 2 or a class 3 gambling activity, depending on the level of money involved. If a person or a society wishes to conduct housie, the housie must comply with the provisions in the Gambling Act 2003 that relate to class 1, class 2 or class 3 gambling. The housie must also comply with the
Gambling Act (Housie) Game Rules 2004 (.pdf) 125k*. Housie Rules apply to all housie, whether it is class 1, class 2 or class 3 gambling.

For more information on Housie see Fact Sheet 18: Housie (.pdf)163k*

Prohibited Prizes
It is illegal to offer the following as prizes:
  • A firearm, explosive (including ammunition), restricted weapon, or airgun
  • Liquor
  • Tobacco products
  • Artefacts
  • Vouchers or entitlements to commercial sexual services
  • Vouchers or entitlements to any of the other property listed above.
Second-hand goods and non-residential land can be offered as prizes. Game rules require that the nature of gambling prizes must be fully disclosed.

Gambling activities that do not need a licence (Class 1 and 2)
If you are conducting a lottery, prize competition, game of chance, instant game or housie and the total value of prizes offered or awarded to winners of the gambling, or to winners in one session (eg.housie) of the gambling is less than $5000, you do not need to obtain a licence from the Department of Internal Affairs. However, you must adhere to the Gambling Act 2003, relevant regulations and game rules for the type of gambling you are organising.
  • Class 1 gambling – Prizes and turnover do not exceed $500
Class 1 gambling may be conducted by either individuals or societies. If an individual is conducting gambling the turnover of the gambling less costs must be applied to reward the winners of the gambling.

If a society is conducting gambling, the net proceeds of the gambling must be applied to authorised purposes. (See explanation below).

If the gambling is conducted in sessions of more than 1 game (eg. housie), no more than 1 session may be played per day.
  • Class 2 gambling – (Prizes exceed $500 but do not exceed $5000; The potential turnover of the gambling exceeds $500, but does not exceed $25,000)
Unlike class 1 gambling, only societies may conduct class 2 gambling. Societies can be either corporate or unincorporated societies. As with class 1 gambling, net proceeds of the gambling must be applied to authorised purposes. (See explanation below).

Unlike class 1 gambling, the Gambling Act 2003 sets out a number of requirements (such as point of sale information), for the selling of tickets or entry forms when gambling is conducted at the class 2 level. Organisers conducting class 2 gambling should familiarise themselves with section 25 of the Gambling Act 2003.

For more information see:

Licenced Gambling (Class 3)

If the total value of prizes offered or awarded to the winners of the gambling activity, or to winners of 1 session (if the gambling is conducted in sessions of more than 1 game) exceeds $5,000 then a licence must be obtained from the Department of Internal Affairs.

See
Class 3 Gambling Forms (below)

Key Requirements of the Gambling Act 2003 - Class 1, 2 and 3 Gambling

Net proceeds of the gambling to be applied or distributed to authorised purposes

A key purpose of the Gambling Act 2003 is to ensure that money obtained from gambling benefits the community.

With the exception of private gambling and class 1 gambling conducted by individuals, the Gambling Act 2003 requires that net proceeds from the gambling be applied or distributed to authorised purposes.

Authorised purposes are:
  • Charitable purposes
  • Non-commercial purposes that have community benefits
  • Promoting, controlling and conducting race meetings.

A society must state what its regulations are, and the statement will be included on its licence.

Click here for more detailed information on Authorised Purposes:
Authorised Purpose Guidelines for Societies and Clubs

No remuneration or commission to be paid

The Gambling Act requires that for class 1, 2 or 3 gambling no commission is offered or paid to, or received by, a person for conducting the gambling, except if a licensed promoter is employed for class 3 gambling..

For class 1 and 2 gambling, no remuneration is to be offered or paid to, or received by, a person for conducting the gambling, except a caller of housie or an authorised representative of a society if the gambling is conducted by a society.

Licensed Promoters
The Gambling Act 2003 makes provision for licensed promoters.

A licensed promoter means a person who is granted a licence to promote a ‘class 3’ gambling activity on behalf of a ‘society’. In general, ‘class 3’ gambling includes lotteries, prize competitions and other gambling for community fundraising purposes where prizes exceed $5000 in value. A ‘society’ is a non-commercial association.

Under the Gambling Act, the licensing of licensed promoters is the responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Society May Engage Licensed Promoter

A society may pay a licensed promoter to promote licensed class 3 gambling, which is not conducted regularly, on its behalf. The payment (or ‘reward’) made to a promoter must not exceed the amount applied to authorised purposes from the promotion or an amount prescribed by the regulations. A society must not engage a licensed promoter unless their relationship is covered by a licensed promoter’s agreement. The regulations prescribe the content of this agreement.

A licensed promoter must not promote a class 3 gambling activity on behalf of a society unless the society has obtained a class 3 operator’s licence to conduct the gambling activity.

The activities of licensed promoters are also regulated by the Gambling (Licensed Promoters) Regulations 2005 (below).

Licensed Promoters Regulations

The Gambling (Licensed Promoters) Regulations 2005 came into force on 1 August 2005. The regulations prescribe the content of a licensed promoter’s agreement; specify the maximum reward that may be paid to a licensed promoter for undertaking a promotion; provide that a licensed promotion may be supervised by a gambling inspector or a member of the police; and provide for various audits of a licensed promoter’ s trust account.

Licensed Promoter Licensing Forms

Use this form to apply for or renew a licensed promoter's licence: This form is for key persons in relation to a licensed promoter's licence:

Game Rules

In addition to complying with the Gambling Act 2003 and relevant regulations, organisers of class 1, 2 and 3 gambling must adhere to game rules for the particular type of non-casino and non-gaming machine gambling that is being conducted.

There are a number of rules that cover games played all classes of gambling. However, class 2 and class 3 gambling is subject to more rules than class 1 gambling. For example, there are core set of rules that must apply to all lotteries, however lotteries played at the higher class 3 level are subject to a number of additional ticket, record retention and audit requirements.

From 1 July 2004, game rules apply to lotteries, prize competitions, games of chance, instant games and housie.

Class 3 Gambling Forms:
  • Calcutta Auction Record Sheet 48k* - The Calcutta Auction Record Sheet is to be filled out during the auction and is to be attached to the Class 3 Audit and Prize Statement.
If you require a hard copy of any of these forms please contact the Gaming Compliance Unit.
*This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

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Last updated: 30/03/2006