Anyone organising the office Melbourne Cup sweepstake is being warned by authorities to stick to the rules - or face hefty consequences.

There is also a limitation on prizes winners can receive - with specific warnings that firearms, liquor and sexual services are all banned from the prize list.

The Department of Internal Affairs has issued a warning in the lead-up to today's big race, telling office sweepstake organisers there should be "no horsing around'' when it comes to gambling rules.

"If you're holding the reins, make sure your sweepstake goes off without a hitch by following these rules, straight from the horse's mouth,'' a statements reads.


The prize money should not exceed $500 - otherwise, you will need to apply for a special licence, the DIA said.

Don’t stirrup trouble this Melbourne Cup! If you're holding the reins for a sweepstake, make sure it goes off without a hitch by following these rules, straight from the horse’s mouth:

Posted by Department of Internal Affairs on Sunday, 3 November 2019

All money raised in the sweepstake needs to be put back into prizes.

The organiser or organisers of the draw should also not profit in "any way", the DIA says.

Tobacco is also not allowed to be a prize in the sweepstake, with the DIA telling organisers to "rein it in" when it comes to prizes.

2018 Melbourne Cup: Your office sweepstake starter kit
Is your Melbourne Cup sweepstake illegal? You risk a $1000 fine
Warning over Melbourne Cup office sweepstake
2018 Melbourne Cup: Runner-by-runner preview and best betting tips from the experts

"We regulate casino and non-casino gambling in New Zealand to ensure Kiwis can enjoy safe and fair gambling that contributes to community wellbeing," a statement said.

"Sweepstakes, such as those run during the Melbourne Cup, are allowed under the Gambling Act 2003 but must comply with certain rules."

Conducting illegal gambling can lead to fines totalling up to $20,000.


"So if you are thinking of running a sweepstake, you can. But avoid any horse-play by making sure you understand and comply with the rules."

For more on lottery game rules, visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.