A promotional game is a type of trade promotion. A trade promotion is a free-to-enter competition used to promote a business’ goods or services. Running a trade promotion can be an effective way to promote your business’ products and services, but there are some key legal considerations to keep in mind. This article outlines six common questions about running a promotional game in Queensland. 

What Is a Promotional Game?

A common type of trade promotion is a game of chance, where entries are submitted to a free entry draw and the business running the game randomly selects a winner. In Queensland, games of chance are known as promotional games. 

Another type of trade promotion is a game of skill. In a game of skill, you choose the winner based on his or her skills. There must not be any elements of chance when choosing the winner of a game of skill. 

For example, a game of chance could be a post on Facebook that entrants must ‘like’ and tag a friend in to win.

A game of skill could be a competition where entrants enter by explaining why they should be chosen for a holiday in 25 words or less. 

In Queensland, you do not need a permit to run a trade promotion. However, other states do require you to apply for a permit to run a trade promotion. You should keep this in mind if you plan to allow people to enter your trade promotion from interstate. New South Wales, South Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory all require permits. The cost of a permit varies between states and may depend on the total value of the prize pool. 

What Should My Terms and Conditions Include?

It is important that you prepare your terms and conditions according to the law in Queensland. You will need to include, for example:

  • the name of the person or business conducting the trade promotion;
  • eligibility requirements for entrants;
  • a description and the retail value of the prize;
  • the closing and drawing dates;
  • the order in which multiple prizes will be drawn;
  • how you will notify winners; and
  • how you will publish the results

Under the law, you must not offer certain prizes in your trade promotion. These include:

  • tobacco products;
  • surgery;
  • a weapon or ammunition;
  • any legally restricted item; and
  • a ticket or chance in another game.

There are other legal rules for running trade promotions involving games of chance. For example:

  • minors cannot enter if the prize includes alcohol or a gaming product;
  • records of the promotion must be kept for five years; and
  • every entrant must have a fair and equal chance of winning the prize.

What Are My Legal Obligations?

Trade promotions are regulated by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Under the ACL, your trade promotion must not be misleading or deceptive in regards to either your: 

  • advertising; or 
  • terms and conditions.  

For example, you must not advertise: 

  • a prize you are not actually offering; or 
  • a prize that is different in some way to the actual prize.

If you do not comply with the laws relating to running a trade promotion in Queensland, you may face a penalty of up to $26,110. It is therefore essential that you understand and meet all your legal requirements. 

Key Takeaways

Promotional games may be an effective way to promote your business’ goods or services. If you intend to run a promotional game in Queensland, make sure your terms and conditions are in line with all relevant legal requirements. If you need help preparing the terms and conditions for your trade promotion, contact LegalVision’s business lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Rowan O'Neill

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