Lotteries Incidental To Entertainment

Lotteries often form part of events such as bazaars, fetes, dinners, dances and sporting events. The Lotteries Act regards these kinds of events as “exempt entertainment”.


Lotteries that are incidental to exempt entertainment are essentially self-regulated. Organisers do not need to register with the National Lotteries Commission or report to the commission. But they do need to observe the following rules to stay within the law:

All proceeds of the entertainment, including the lottery, must be “utilised for the benefit of any deserving section of the public”. Expenses that may be deducted before using the money for a deserving cause are specified as follows:

  • – The expenses of the entertainment, including those related to the lottery.
  • – The expenses of printing lottery tickets and advertising the lottery.
  • – The cost of purchasing lottery prizes.

None of the prizes in the lottery may be a money prize and the total value of the prizes may not exceed the regulated amount which is currently R5 000. The total value of tickets to be sold may not exceed the prescribed amount, which is currently R10 000. The price of a single ticket may not exceed R10. The opportunity of participating in the lottery (or in any other form of gambling) must not the main reason for people attending the entertainment. The lottery must be conducted for members or a society that has been established for purposes other than lotteries, gambling or betting.

Also consult:

Lotteries and the law

Section 36 of the Lotteries Act

Regulations on the conduct of lotteries incidental to exempt entertainment