Gold Coast company refused gaming licence for charity lottery

A Gold Coast company has been refused a gaming licence to run charitable lotteries offering “working-class” battlers the chance to win the “Australian Dream” of homeownership.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in a decision published on last Friday, confirmed a ruling by the Queensland’s Liquor and Gaming Regulation (QLGR) Acting Commissioner to refuse a gaming licence to the operators of Start Living Prize Homes (SLPH) Inc.

SLPH had applied for a gaming licence to sell 55,000 calendars for $20 each and entitle every purchaser to one “free entry” into its proposed draw of a $600,000 home-and-land package.

The company, according to its website, was attempting to run the first of a proposed series of lotteries to “give working class, struggling and underprivileged members of the community” a chance to win the “Australian Dream of Home Ownership” and donate $100,000 of the proceeds raised to charity.

QCAT member Michael Howe, in his six-page decision, said SLPH had made an application to the tribunal to review of a decision by QLGR’s Chief Executive to refuse its application for a Category 3 gaming licence.

“(SLPH) is an eligible association to apply for … a gaming licence … (and) there is no evidence that (SLPH) or a management member’s character (makes them) unsuitable to hold a licence or engage in the proposed operation under the licence,” Mr Howe said.

“Matters such as how the house and land package first prize will be made available to the prize winner, who is entitled to buy a ticket and how the winning ticket is to be drawn were initially issues of concern but were resolved in the course of discussions between (SLPH) and OLGR so as to satisfy statutory requirements.

“However a major issue that arose in the course of consideration of the application for a gaming licence was the financial capacity of (SLPH) to ensure delivery of prizes and payment of expenses associated with running the game proposed.”

Mr Howe, in supporting QLGR’s initial decision to refuse a gaming licence, noted SLPH had not provided acceptable financial evidence that the prizes proposed would be delivered if expected ticket sales failed to materialise.

“Whilst the legislation permits certain flexibility to game operators, public confidence in the probity and integrity of authorised games must be preserved and protected,” he said.

“There can be no reasonable assurance that (SLPH) is a suitable entity to hold a licence given the absence of evidence of financial resources available and adequate to ensure the financial viability of operations conducted under the licence. As such the application for a … gaming licence must be refused.”

Read the full decision.

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