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Who can buy lottery tickets in Australia?

Lotteries are a popular form of gambling in Australia, with many residents trying their luck to win big jackpot prizes. However, there are some restrictions around who can actually purchase lottery tickets in Australia. Keep reading to learn more about the rules and regulations for buying lottery tickets in Australia.

Minimum Age Requirements

One of the most important requirements for buying lottery tickets in Australia is meeting the minimum age. The legal age for gambling on lottery games varies across different states and territories:

  • New South Wales – 18 years old
  • Victoria – 18 years old
  • Queensland – 18 years old
  • South Australia – 18 years old
  • Western Australia – 18 years old
  • Tasmania – 18 years old
  • Northern Territory – 18 years old
  • Australian Capital Territory – 18 years old

So in summary, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase lottery tickets anywhere in Australia. Lottery operators are required to verify the age of customers before selling tickets to prevent underage gambling.

Residency Status

Another requirement is that you must be an Australian resident to play lotteries. Lottery operators do not sell tickets to tourists or visitors in Australia on temporary visas. You must be able to provide proof of residency, such as an Australian driver’s license, when purchasing lottery tickets.

There are some exceptions for permanent residents and some visa holders. For example, people on spouse visas or permanent humanitarian visas may be eligible to play lottery games. However, most temporary visa holders like students and working holiday visas cannot purchase lottery tickets.

Geographic Restrictions

Lottery rules can also vary between different states and territories in Australia. Some lotteries may only be open to residents of certain areas. For example:

  • Tattslotto – Only open to residents of Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory
  • Oz Lotto – Available nationally across all states/territories
  • Saturday Lotto – Only for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory residents
  • Powerball – All states can play

When purchasing lottery tickets online, you need to make sure you are located within an eligible jurisdiction. Lottery sites will verify your location based on details like a residential address and IP location.

Identity Verification

To comply with gambling laws and regulations, lottery retailers need to verify the identity of customers. There are a few ways lottery operators can check a player’s identity and age when selling tickets:

  • Driver’s license – Customers may be asked to produce a valid Australian driver’s license or proof of age card, which must be scanned/checked.
  • Customer accounts – Online lottery sites require you to register an account and verify identity before playing.
  • In-person verification – Lottery outlets may ask for ID verification when purchasing tickets in-store.

Providing false identification to purchase lottery tickets is illegal. Lottery retailers face significant penalties for selling tickets to people who fail age and identity checks.

Problem Gambling Self-Exclusion

People who have signed up for problem gambling self-exclusion cannot purchase Australian lottery tickets. Most states/territories have voluntary self-exclusion programs you can join if experiencing gambling addiction.

Once on the self-exclusion register, you are banned from playing lotteries and entry into gaming venues. The exclusion period lasts a minimum of 6 months up to indefinite exclusion until reversed. This is an important responsible gambling measure for vulnerable people prone to problem gambling on lottery games.

Criminal Convictions

Another restriction relates to criminal histories. People who have convictions for serious gambling-related offences are automatically prohibited from purchasing lottery tickets in Australia.

For example, you would be ineligible to play lottery games after conviction for offenses like:

  • Cheating at gambling
  • Fraudulently selling lottery tickets
  • Unlawful gambling operations
  • Money laundering

Lottery retailers also have the right to refuse service and sales of lottery entries to any customers engaged in suspicious behavior. This discretion aims to uphold the integrity of lottery operations in Australia.


Bankruptcy is another factor that can restrict access to lottery products in some Australian jurisdictions. For instance, in New South Wales, people who have declared bankruptcy cannot purchase lottery or betting tickets until discharged from bankruptcy.

Similar provisions apply for bankrupt individuals in Victoria and South Australia. Lottery operators can check the public National Personal Insolvency Index to identify currently bankrupt players.

Welfare Recipients

There are also some tighter restrictions when it comes to welfare recipients playing lotteries in Australia. This mainly relates to income-managed welfare recipients who get a BasicsCard for essential expenses.

In the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia, BasicsCard holders cannot use their welfare benefits to purchase lottery tickets or scratchies. This policy aims to prevent vulnerable welfare recipients from spending income on gambling activities.

Physical Disabilities

People with certain physical disabilities may require assistance from carers or family to play lotteries, particularly with the physical acts involved like filling out paper tickets and scratching instant scratch tickets. However, there are no direct prohibitions against people with physical disabilities buying lottery tickets.

Mental Incapacity

There could be restrictions applied to people who have reduced decision-making capacity due to mental incapacity or illnesses like dementia. If people are unable to make informed, rational decisions about gambling and understand the consequences, lottery operators may refuse service and ticket sales.


In summary, Australian lottery rules focus heavily on legal age, residency status, and identity checks. Geographical limitations, problem gambling, criminal records, bankruptcy, and welfare status can also restrict access to lottery products in different situations.

While lottery play is generally open to the majority of the adult population in Australia, responsible gambling measures aim to protect vulnerable community groups. Lottery operators are required to uphold standards of integrity through customer identity verification and enforcing eligibility requirements.


Can tourists buy lottery tickets in Australia?

No, overseas tourists visiting Australia on temporary visas cannot purchase lottery tickets. You must be an Australian resident to play lottery games.

What is the minimum age to buy Tattslotto tickets?

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase Tattslotto tickets in Victoria, Tasmania, ACT and Northern Territory where this lottery game is operated.

Can permanent residents of Australia buy lotto tickets?

Yes, permanent residents are eligible to play lotteries in Australia. Temporary visa holders are restricted from purchasing lottery tickets.

Do you need ID to buy scratchies in Australia?

Yes, lottery retailers require ID verification for all lottery ticket sales, including instant scratch tickets. You need to confirm your age and identity.

Can welfare recipients play Keno in Australia?

In some states, income-managed welfare recipients with BasicsCards cannot spend those welfare benefits on gambling activities like playing Keno. Other players can participate.

Are people with disabilities allowed to enter lotteries?

Yes, there are no direct prohibitions against people with physical or mental disabilities buying lottery tickets in Australia. However, some individuals may require assistance purchasing lottery entries.

State and Territory Comparisons

While the standard age limit is 18+ across all Australian states/territories, there are some minor differences in lottery regulations between jurisdictions:

State/Territory Key Lottery Policies
New South Wales – Minimum age 18
– Bankrupts prohibited from playing
– Available games include Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto
Victoria – Minimum age 18
– Bankrupts cannot buy tickets
– Tattslotto and Powerball offered
Queensland – Minimum age 18
– Income-managed welfare recipients restricted from playing
– Saturday Gold Lotto available
Western Australia – Minimum age 18
– BasicsCard holders cannot use welfare benefits for lottery tickets
– Saturday/Monday/Wednesday Lotto
South Australia – Minimum age 18
– X Lotto and Oz Lotto offered
– Bankrupts prohibited
Tasmania – Minimum age 18
– Tattslotto, Powerball, and Super 66 offered
ACT – Minimum age 18
– Playing Tattslotto and Powerball
Northern Territory – Minimum age 18
– Can play Tattslotto
– Welfare benefits cannot be used on lottery tickets

While most core lottery policies around age and residency are consistent nationally, minor regional variations may apply when buying lottery products in different Australian jurisdictions.

Buying Lottery Tickets Online vs In-Store

Lottery tickets can be purchased either online or in-person at authorized lottery retailers in Australia. Here is a comparison of the key differences between online and in-store ticket sales:

Online Lottery Tickets

  • Websites operated by official lottery brands like Tatts, NSW Lotteries, Golden Casket
  • Must register an account and verify identity before playing
  • Tickets purchased digitally through mobile app or desktop site
  • Payment via saved card or payment methods like PayPal
  • Tickets stored in online account – no physical ticket issued
  • Ability to use features like syndicate play and subscriptions
  • Winnings paid directly into nominated bank account

In-Store Lottery Tickets

  • Available for purchase at newsagents, convenience stores, dedicated lottery outlets
  • Players must confirm age/identity to retailer upon purchase
  • Physical ticket handed to player after payment
  • Cash transactions accepted more widely than online
  • Claiming prizes requires physical ticket as proof of purchase
  • No access to online only features like lottery subscriptions

Both online and retail lottery tickets are regulated for age, residency, and responsible gambling. Playing online provides more convenience and features, while in-store allows cash payments. Identity verification required either way.

The History of Lotteries in Australia

Lotteries have a long history in Australia dating back over 200 years. Here are some key events in the development of Australian lottery games over time:

  • 1880s – First official government-run lottery in Queensland to raise funds for hospitals.
  • 1916 – First Melbourne Cup sweepstakes held, starting a popular lottery tradition linked to the horse race.
  • 1930s – Illegal “Numbers” games become popular during the Great Depression before being shut down.
  • 1954 – Lottery bans start getting lifted by states, starting with Western Australia legalizing lotteries.
  • 1960s – Soccer football pools launched by Australian Soccer Pools and ran until the 1980s.
  • 1972 – NSW Lotteries launches first lottery draw offering cash prizes.
  • 1979 – NSW Lotteries introduces first instant scratch ticket games.
  • 1986 – National lottery game ‘Oz Lotto’ launched by NSW Lotteries and played across multiple states.
  • 2006 – National Powerball lottery commences after alignment of state lottery games.
  • 2019 – Lott becomes overarching brand for Australian lottery operators including NSW Lotteries, Tatts, Golden Casket.

For many decades, lotteries were actually banned in all Australian colonies and states. This prohibition was eventually lifted from the 1950s onwards. Today, lottery games are popular and well-established gambling products subject to regulation.

Notable Australian Lottery Winners

There have been some record-breaking Australian lottery prizes awarded over the years:

  • Biggest Lotto winner – In 2019, an Australian player won the biggest individual prize of AUD $153 million playing Powerball.
  • Youngest winner – An 18-year old won $1 million on his first ever lottery ticket bought just after his birthday in 2013.
  • Syndicate wins – Work syndicates pooling money have scored huge jackpots like $50 million on Oz Lotto and $40 million on Powerball.
  • Double lottery luck – A Sydney woman won $1 million in 2013 playing a scratchie, then a few years later pocketed $50 million on an Oz Lotto ticket.
  • Group buying – In 2018, a third of TattsLotto winners were part of group entries buying shared tickets.

These stories of instant multi-millionaires and lucky multiple winners capture the hopes and dreams of Aussies taking a chance playing the lottery!

Unclaimed Lottery Prizes

Shockingly, many major lottery prizes in Australia go unclaimed each year when winning tickets are not redeemed:

  • In 12 months between 2019-2020, $21 million in lottery prize money was unclaimed nationally.
  • The biggest unclaimed individual prize was $50 million on an Oz Lotto ticket purchased in Victoria in 2008.
  • In South Australia, around $1 million in lottery winnings go uncollected annually.
  • Expired tickets contribute to unclaimed prizes when players don’t redeem tickets within the claim period.
  • Often winners miss small prizes earned on system/supplementary numbers rather than just main jackpot.

Lottery operators make efforts to promote unclaimed tickets and find mystery winners. But many end up forfeited after the standard 6-12 month redemption period expires if players don’t come forward.

Responsible Gambling Tips

When playing any lottery games, it is important to gamble responsibly. Here are some tips for staying in control:

  • Set a budget for spending on lottery tickets and stick to it
  • Only gamble with surplus income you can afford to lose
  • Don’t chase losses or try to win back money
  • Take a break after a loss to avoid compulsive playing
  • Don’t play when drunk, tired or emotionally vulnerable
  • Check lottery rules and odds of winning
  • Avoid playing with borrowed money or on credit
  • Keep lottery play recreational and occasional

If you need help controlling lottery or gambling habits, contact professional support services in your state. Gambling hotlines can provide guidance.


The main requirements around playing Australian lotteries relate to age, identity verification, residency status and location. Adults must confirm their eligibility and provide identification to purchase tickets in-store and online. While lottery games are very popular in Australia, regulated access aims to enable responsible gambling practices.