The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Running a compliant sweepstake for the Melbourne Cup

2 November 2021

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs wants to ensure punters are following the rules for workplace sweepstakes this Melbourne Cup day.

Sweepstakes are allowed under the Gambling Act 2003, but must comply with certain rules.
To ensure your sweepstake stays on the right side of the law:

  • Prize money can’t exceed $500.
  • All money raised must be returned as prizes.
  • Firearms, alcohol and tobacco are all prohibited prizes.
  • The organiser can’t pocket a fee or profit in any way from running a sweepstake.
Conducting illegal gambling can result in a fine of up to $20,000.

DIA regulates casino and non-casino gambling in New Zealand so Kiwis can enjoy safe and fair gambling. It’s one of the ways we ensure Aotearoa’s hapū, iwi and communities are safe, resilient and thriving. So, if you’re thinking of running a sweepstake, you can but ensure you understand and comply with the rules.

DIA also advises people placing bets through commercial operators, such as the TAB, to know their limits and bet within their means. If you think your gambling may be a problem, seek help through

Media contact:
Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 email: