• If you run an online competition or trade promotion lottery in Australia i.e. a game of chance, you may be required to hold a permit. This includes competitions on social media networks.
  • Games of skill are not regulated, however to qualify as a game of skill, there must be a judge and a set criteria to win.
  • The regulations vary between each State and are subject to change. You should visit the website of the relevant authority to find out more information in relation to the permits and rules for running an online competition or trade promotion lottery.

Permit Requirements

A permit is required to regulate online competitions to ensure they are fair and legitimate, especially if prize money is offered. Each State and Territory has different rules regarding permits.

Promoters of competitions and lotteries have a number of legal responsibilities. Businesses must run competitions in an ethical manner or face fines. The form of the competition and the value of the prize will dictate whether you will need permits to run the competition legally.

There are two main types of competitions or trade promotion lotteries – games of chance and games of skill. Games of chance are determined by some element of chance, such as a winners name being drawn at random. Games of skill require some element of skill, whether submitting an entry or otherwise. These require criteria and a judge.

Key Issues

  • Terms and Conditions are required for every competition you run. It must detail all conditions of entry.
  • Permit fees vary depending on state, promotion mechanics and total prize pools.
  • Notifying winners, and then reneging offers, can be costly mistakes. Prior to contacting winners, you should ensure that the winner’s original entry was valid.

Types of Permits

New South Wales

New South Wales Government – Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing

A permit is required where the lottery promotes a trade or business. This form can be obtained at www.license.nsw.gov.au and this will need to be lodged with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. A permit is not required if qualified/expert judges are used and the winner is judged against a specific criteria.

Winners are to be notified in writing and for games of chance where prizes are valuated over $500 (incl. GST), winners will have their name published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Victoria

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

A permit is only required if the total prize value for the lottery is more than $5,000. Winners are to be notified in writing and for games of chance where prizes are valuated over $1,000 (incl. GST), winners will have their name published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Queensland

Queensland Government – Business and Industry Portal

Lotteries are classified into different categories and some categories require a license. Applications for a permit can be made through the QLD Office of Liquor and Gaming. Generally, free entry trade promotions do not require a license.
Winners will be notified in writing and published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Western Australia

Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor WA

No permits required to run online competitions. Entry must be free.
Winners will be notified in writing and published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

South Australia

Government of South Australia – Consumer and Business Services

A license is not required for lotteries where the prize value is $5,000 or less.
Winners are to be notified in writing and for games of change where prizes are valuated over $250 (incl. GST), winners will have their name published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Tasmania

Tasmanian Government – Department of Treasury and Finance

Permits are not required to run online competitions or trade promotions.
Winners will be notified in writing and published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Government

Games of skill do not require a permit. For games of chance, where the total prize value of the trade lottery is less than $5,000, a permit is not required.
Winners will be notified in writing and published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Government – Gambling and Racing Commission

Any lottery which includes an element of chance or a mixture of chance and skill requires a permit. Winners will be notified in writing and published on the website approximately 24 hours after the final draw and will remain on the website for a minimum of 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions about Running Online Competitions

Q: What is a trade promotion lottery?
A: A trade promotion lottery is a free entry lottery where chance determines the award of a prize. The lottery can also be referred to as a sweepstake, competition, contest, game of chance or giveaway.

Q: Who can conduct a trade promotion lottery?
A: Any business with an Australian Business Number.

Q: What is a Game of Skill?
A: A Game of Skill is where the winner is judged or voted and selected for their skill on set criteria.

Q: Can I run a “Share to Win” or “Like and Share to Win” competition on Facebook?
A: No. According to Facebook’s terms, you cannot use a personal Timeline to promote a business e.g. “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted

How can LegalVision help me?

Do you require assistance with running an online competition? We’ve helped many businesses with online competitions and it would be our pleasure to assist you. We provide fixed prices for your certainty and peace of mind. Call LegalVision today on 1300 544 755.

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