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30 Second Guide to Australian Permit Requirements for Promotions

If you're planning a national or localised consumer promotion in Australia you may be wondering “Do I need a competition permit in Australia?” This quick guide will help you to understand if you are required to obtain a trade lottery permit for your competition or promotion. 

Trade lottery regulations are specific to each state and the following is a quick guide of your requirements for Australian competition permits.

Understanding Contest Types

There are two types of contests / promotions:

  • Test of Skill - e.g. ‘In 25 words or less tell us why you should Win..’
  • Games of Chance – e.g. Instant Win, Prize Pool Sweepstakes.

Your requirements for ‘Test Of Skill’ promotions

You do not require a competition permit to conduct a test of skill promotion if there is no element of chance involved in winning. However you must ensure that:

- All entries are judged individually on their merit.

- One Winner is chosen at a judge’s decision based on skill or originality. Please note that you cannot run a test of skill promotion where entrants can potentially submit the same answer or result. E.g. Who won the 2018 Soccer World Cup?’

Requirements For Game Of Chance…

Permits for games of chance are not required in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland or Western Australia.

You may require a permit if the promotion is running in the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T), South Australia (S.A), New South Wales (N.S.W) or Northern Territory (N.T) subject to state specific regulation. Here’s is an over view of regulations:

A permit is required for a ‘game of chance’ style promotion regardless of the prize/pool value (in NSW or nationally)

In A.C.T a promoter must obtain a permit if the total prize pool exceeds $3000 and there is print/traditional advertising. If the promotion is run solely online, a permit is not required unless a promotional website or application is hosted in A.C.T.

Permits are  required in South Australia if the prize pool is over $5000. ‘Instant Win’ promotions in South Australia have specific conditions too (SAM can elaborate on these as needed).

N.T promoters require permit approval if the promotion is only running in N.T and no other state has issued a permit.  The prize pool must also exceed $5,000.

Permit fees and administration costs are based on the total prize pool and promotional mechanics. 

Prize Draws & Announcing Winners

There are state specific regulations that apply to prize draw conduct. You must also publish the names of competition winners on a website or in the relevant local or state based newspaper. For national promotions, winners can be announced in ‘The Australian’ newspaper. 

Prize Draw Scrutiny

An independent prize draw scrutineer is required by the New South Wales government when the value of prizes drawn is over $10,000. South Australian law requires a scrutineer to oversee a draw when the value of prizes drawn is valued at over $20,000. These regulations mean that for a national promotion, a scrutineer is required to oversee prize draws whenever a prize draw has prizes valued at greater than $10,000.

Electric Prize Draws

Where winners of a competition are determined by an electronic prize draw, promoters must have the drawing system approved in South Australia via an official application. New South Wales Lotteries also require promotion permit holders to obtain an Appraisal Report and Draw Procedure Report for electronic prize draw systems.

Displaying Permit Numbers & Terms and Conditions

All printed material used for advertising a promotion must include abbreviated Term and Conditions, Permit Numbers and a reference to where the full Term and Conditions can be found. Online Promotions must have a link to a full set of approved Term and Conditions.

Lead Times

For national promotions, allow at least 14 days from the submission of permit applications to the relevant state authorities to obtain approval and permit numbers. Lead times vary by state (contact us for information on current lead times).

More on information on Australian Competition Permits

Need help with competition permits in Australia?

SAM can help you apply for permits (provided that you have an ABN).

We’ve been helping companies to obtain trade promotion permits in Australia since 1981.

SAM have assisted corporations, independents, advertising agencies and specialist marketing firms to apply for competition permits. In cases where a promotion or competition requires permits from state and territory authorities you can trust SAM to guide you through the process.

SAM can also assist marketers with any, or all of the following:

  • Writing Terms and Conditions of Entry
  • Obtaining permits for competitions and promotions
  • Insured Prize Promotions - insurance for high value prizes and prize pools.
  • Promotion Creative (SAM has a state of the art graphic design studio)
  • Point of Sale Display development, production & distribution
  • Event permits in Australia
  • Instant Win competitions
  • Catalogue production
  • On Pack Promotions
  • Trade Promotion in Australia
  • Competition Websites and SMS lines to collect entry data
  • Database Management (data is assigned to client at conclusion of the promotion)
  • Prize Draws & Draw Scrutineering
  • Public Notices

Please feel free to contact SAM for advice or a quotation for permit application management.

Peter McKinnon -  / (03) 9 646 5644.

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