Gambling activities

Taxable gambling activities

In most cases, gambling sales your organisation makes (such as lotteries or gaming machine activity) are taxable. You only apply GST to your margin on these taxable gambling sales – not to each individual sale.

Calculating your margin

If the total wagered amount you received for a period is more than the total amount of monetary prizes payable then you calculate the GST on this margin (the difference between the two). You show only the margin for your taxable gambling activities on your activity statement.

There are some special rules about how to calculate and record your margin on your activity statement:

  • Your total amounts wagered do not include amounts that are required to be refunded.
  • Your margin is not changed if you make gambling sales and unclaimed monetary prizes or refunds of a bet become your property under the rules or legislation that govern the gambling activity.
  • You do not include the value of non-monetary prizes, such as a car, when you work out your margin.
  • If you purchase a non-monetary prize, you show this as a purchase on your activity statement.
  • If the total amount of monetary prizes you paid during a tax period was greater than the total wagered amount you received, you can offset this amount against your margin in the next tax period.
  • You do not include the value of any wagers made by entities outside Australia and you do not include the value of any monetary prizes paid to entities outside Australia when you work out your margin.

GST-free gambling activities

Certain gambling sales are GST-free for non-profit organisations that are either:

  • endorsed charitable institutions
  • endorsed trustees of charitable funds
  • gift deductible entities
  • government schools
  • non-profit sub-entities of one of the above.

For these organisations, the following gambling sales are GST-free:

  • selling a ticket in a raffle
  • accepting a person’s participation in a game of bingo.

You must show the full amount of these GST-free sales on your activity statement - not just the margin.


For these raffle or bingo sales to be GST-free you must comply with state or territory lottery laws.

End of attention

Other gambling activities by these non-profit organisations are not GST-free. They may however choose to treat sales made in connection with some other forms of fundraising as input taxed.

Further information

For more information about how to calculate the GST on your gambling activities and fundraising events:

End of further information
    Last modified: 07 Jun 2013QC 21235