Competition Permits in Australia

28 Aug. 2012 - - Total Reads 81,430

Competition permit

* Last Edit on this Article – Do I need a Competition Permit in Australia – March 2016.

Running a competition in Australia can be a daunting task – especially when you consider that Australian states tend to operate independently of each other when it comes to competition permit. Well, we’re here to clear the air a little!

When searching the web for rules regarding running a trade promotion in Australia, there seem to be few sources that aggregate State’s positions on trade promotions and applying for a competition permit so we went called and emailed each state (August 2012) and put together this handy guide.

Competition/Trade Promotions

Competitions aimed at promoting a brand or business are classified in most Australian States as trade promotions. For instance – if you’re a marketing manager or an advertiser and you’re looking to promote a brand through a competition, you need to be assessing how you’re going to be running your competition as it impacts on whether or not you’ll be needing to apply for a trade promotion permit.

Raffles, club competitions or charitable competitions may be subject to different rules.

Game of Skill vs. Game of Chance

As a rule of thumb, Games of Skill – competitions that require a user to answer a question or submit something (Showing ‘Skill’ in order to win) – don’t require Trade Permits within Australia. These competitions are selected by a judge through a selection process where the best or most skilful entry decides the winner.

Games of Chance are competitions where chance or probability is taken into account following an entry will require a trade permit pending what State the promotion is open to and the total value of the prize. These trade promotions have an element of chance – like a lottery.

Trade Promotion Permit in VICTORIA:

  • From 20 June 2015, businesses, charities and community organisations no longer need to apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for a permit to conduct a trade promotion lottery.
  • More information can be found at the VCGLR

Trade Promotion Permit in NSW:

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • The NSW OLGR requires a permit for ALL Games of Chance regardless of total prize pool value and strict guidelines must be met (open PDF) Including potentially submitting for audit your the Draw Procedure Report and Appraisal Report (yes we can assist with these).
  • Exceptions : Games of Chance for a Christmas Party or Office Draw do not require a permit.

Trade Promotion Permit in SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

  • Games of Skill are not considered a lottery under the Lottery and Gaming Act 1936
  • A permit is required where promotions have an element of chance and the total prize pool exceeds $5000 OR the competition offers an Instant Prize
  • Competitions where you answer a simple question and the FIRST person is the winner also require a permit.
  •  More information can be found at the SA OLGC

Trade Promotion Permit in the ACT:

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • Promotions that have any element of chance are required to apply for a permit regardless of prize pool size (Permit prices can be found here)
  • More information at the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission

Trade Promotion Permit in the NT:

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • Promotions that have an element of chance and a prize pool to a value greater than $5000 will require a permit
  • More information can be found via the NT Department of Justice

 Trade Promotions in QUEENSLAND : 

  • Trade Promotions do not require a permit, but there are special conditions on some formats to be met under $2,000 and under $50,000. See : QLD’s competitions-raffles-bingo etc information page for a complete summary. In short, if you meet the criteria, you will only need a permit above $50,000.
  • Businesses conducting Trade Promotions do not require a permit if there is no entry fee.

 Trade Promotions in WESTERN AUSTRALIA : 

  • A permit is not needed if the entry is free or the promotion entry is gained by the purchase of a product at its usual price, eg. If the cost of your butter product at retail is usually $2, and remains at $2 during the course of the promotion.
  • However you need to conduct the promotion based on the WA gaming guidelines. For more information please visit the RGL site

Currently, Trade Promotion Permits for Tasmania are not required, although certain conditions may apply.

What if I’m conducting a National Draw Online or Offline ?

So in summary, if you are conducting a national draw online or offline and there is an element of chance, you’ll need a permit in the ACT and NSW regardless of Prize Pool. If your trade promotion offers and Instant Prize (not drawn later or at the end of a competition period) you’ll also need a permit in SA. If there is No Element of Chance you do not need a permit in Australia. Note: We recommend seeking up to date legal advice and publishing clear terms and conditions to every promotion if it is a consumer (non-internal office draw) competition.

If you have any questions regarding running a trade promotion within Australia, please contact the respective Government bodies accordingly.

If you would to run a trade promotion as a digital campaign online, as either a random draw or game of skill you can contact us. More information on using AndMine for your campaign and our Competition / Random Draw Permit can be found here.

We are a leading Digital Agency helping our clients dominate in digital.

Michael Simonetti
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Kevin Said :
"Hi Michael, Thanks for the great article. If there is no purchase need to be entered the lottery(or raffles or sweeps) games, still do I need a permit to run this via online? (but people need to register as a member to be entered.)"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Kevin, if there is no purchase to enter, it doesn’t qualify as a trade promotion and you’ll need to look into raffle rules in your state."
Greg Channer Said :
"Hi, This is a great article on recent changes, though I'm not sure how this applies to me. I run Emerald and Aqua a holiday home management agency in the Illawarra , NSW and our intended competition is free accommodation up to the value of $4000, when/to whoever: a) like our FB page + syndicates/amplify and share our Offer the most via social media and get as many people (friends, family and people on the street) to tweet, share via FaceBook and Google+ etc etc to win the free accommodation at: So how would this be viewed??"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hello Greg, It would be viewed as a game of skill so should be fine without permits."
Michelle Said :
"Hi Michael, we are a NZ market research company and we are running a short survey for a NZ-based client - but the survey is being sent to Australia-based companies (via an industry representative body). We'd like to offer a prize valued at $500 (vouchers) for all completed surveys. Can we do this without a permit? Many thanks for your help, Michelle"
Nathan Adhikari Said :
"Hello Michelle, since you are offering vouchers on survey completion - there is no element of chance. Therefore you can go ahead without permit."
Vanessa Said :
"HI Michael, fantastic article I found it very informative! Just wanted to clarify; I work for a small skincare company based in NSW and we are thinking about having a social media giveaway where one person will win a $100 gift voucher to spend in store. In order to win, people have to post a picture of themselves with their favourite product of ours and tell us why they love it. If we pick the winner ourselves based on the picture and the comment, does this make it a game of skill and therefore not require a permit? Thanks."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Vanessa, Correct - you don’t need a permit for this!"
Erin Said :
"Hi! I want to run a competition for my brand online; "Spend $150 or more and win a weekend away", + must be signed up to our newsletter. If I also add a "Tell us in 25 words or less" requirement can I avoid permits? (This is a national competition as its an online store)."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Erin, you can avoid permits if you add the 'tell us in 25 words or less’ and select the winner manually - as it is a game of skill."
Maria Said :
"Hi, If I run a social media competition on facebook and instagram and conditions to enter are to 1. Comment who your favourite Australian charity is? 2. Like our facebook or instagram page or both? Is this a Test of Skill or Game of Chance? And what if I change the first condition to 1. Comment who your favourite Australian charity is? And WHY? Does this change anything as not two answers would then be the same?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Maria, Yes the first is a game of skill, if you add the why you can make it a game of chance if you pick the best answer as the winner. Hope that helps."
Jason Said :
"Hi, Allot to digest. I have a bit of a unique situation. I have c. 1m members of my club. I want to give away a member draw prize of an asset worth about $5m. It's just a members draw so you have to be a current member. Thoughts Thanks."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Jason, If it is random and based on the value, you'll need permits and the random draw certification. You may also be able to run this as a raffle - you'd need to check that with state licensing directly."
Georgia Said :
"Hi, I'm looking to post a giveaway competition via instagram and facebook. Something along the lines of, "In 25 words or less describe your favourite Christmas item this year, also like and follow our page" The winner will be selected and given a gift valued up to 300$ or they will be given a redeemable voucher."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Sounds good - you can do this without permits too."
Anthony Said :
"Hi Michael, This is a great article. I entered a competition run by Coca Cola promoting their new No Sugar Coke product. See T&Cs here: The entry was via instagram and the T&Cs stated to enter you were required to submit an image using correct handles. Further in the T&Cs the word "Photo" was used in every occasion. The T&cs also stated that the winners (4) would be drawn and contacted 11th July 2017. The T&Cs did not state that Coke awarded all prizes before this date. Coke awarded 3 of the 4 prizes to people that submitted video entries and not photos. I want to know, has Coca Cola AU done anything wrong legally or just morally? Thanks Anthony"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Anthony, Contact them and point this out. Their customer service department should have a position on this, either they notified people of the change of terms or similar or they breached their T&Cs… this doesn’t happen often and you can make them re-draw post the date (unlikely you’ll win, they’ll award other winners). It might be worth being polite and pointing out the error and that you had a killer submission you didn’t get to upload or something … they may then be kind and send you out some product. other options; mention this on FB (I’m sure others may have already) or take it to gaming and licensing … but that is a lot of work for little reward (having them re-draw)."
Kira Said :
"Hi Michael, This article has been super helpful. I'm still a little confused about if choosing a winner at random (potentially from Australia wide) requires a permit? We are looking to conduct a survey and in other to incentivise people have each person that completes the survey go into the draw to win something up to the value of say $1000. What do we need to do to ensure we are following the correct processes?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hello Kira. The draw you will hold is dependent upon element of chance so you will need permission but because of your prize pool, $1000, you might be exempt from permission in some states like Northern Territory and South Australia (please see article for state rules)."
Tracy Monahan Said :
"Hello, I have entered competitions online run by a facebook group I am part of. The Group is U.S based and specific to boardgames, the comps are run through an app called gleam and the idea is to click through to another site to be given a chance each time you go [ to the site, page, twitter etc] it is free and often only to the value of less than $100. The person organising it thinks he may need to exclude Australians from this as it is against Australian laws. He doesnt really want to but does not want to do the wrong thing. Can I legally win? I am in WA. Is it allowed? I know we have rules for domestic comps and raffles but international ones? He is not advertising it I found it and am a member of the group. Thanks for your help. Tracy"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Tracy, Not sure if this is legal or not, but you may enter, I feel it would be the responsibility of the US group to ensure T&Cs are correct for their comp."
Alex Said :
"Hi, sorry if this is a tough question, but what about awards? Say for example a company was planning to do a female scientist award based on female scientists (in QLD) who have made an outstanding contribution to scientific research in the past 5-10 years? This would be on a nomination basis with a prize valued at $100,000. Also is there any specific legislation I should look into when writing up the eligibility requirements? Thank you."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Alex - you’ll certainly need Terms and Conditions for this competition and likely yes need to register the competition as well, it doesn’t fall under a trade promotion, but speak to your state Licensing body as a starting point."
RossM Said :
"Hello, I'm looking to send out a survey to around 3000 contacts and offering a $50 for everyone who completes the survey. Would i need a special license or terms and conditions to do this?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Ross This isn't a trade promotion more like a cash back offer or consumer promotion you can simply put terms and conditions together to run."
Shilpi Said :
"Hi Michael, I have a business in victoria. I am planning on promoting my business in events like Gala night, music festivals etc. where people would need to buy a e.g. $20 ticket to enter into a lucky draw to win an item valued at less than $5000. This $20 ticket is seperate to the entry into the gala night, music festival etc. Do i need a Permit or any registration ??"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hello Shilpi, please look into raffles rules and regulations as the event you are planning does not sound like a trade promotion."
Anthony Said :
"Hi Michael If im considering an event where participants pay $x for flights, accommodation, a gala dinner and one participant wins an overseas property worth lets say $300k what would i need to do?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"If the admission to the competition is the ticket entry to the dinner then you can run this as a trade promotion. You should also look at the rules for a raffle as you may be able to run it under those terms."
Phil Davison Said :
"Hi, My wife and I run a wine blog and are considering a competition to name our wine press (So technically a game of skill?). The winner would get a bottle of our first batch of our own branded wine shipped to them. What if any are the laws we need to adhere to for this? Any help you can offer would be great. Many thanks Phil"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Phil, yes you should be pretty safe with that, but i think they should get a case and we should get a bottle for helping :) !"
Lilly Said :
"Hi Michael, my company is holding a conference during which we offer delegates an opportunity to enter a prize draw. To enter, delegates must visit each stand in the exhibition, ask a pre-decided question, and get a stamp on their prize draw card. Once the card is complete, they are then eligible to be entered into the prize draw. The winner will be decided by all entries being entered into a hat and our chairperson pulling a winning card out. Will we require a permit for this?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hello Lilly, since the determination of your winner is entirely based upon the element of chance and the entry is not likely limited to delegates from particular state, you will need a permit for this."
David Said :
"Hi Michael, I am looking at a fundraising drive for a sports club that is based on how well a person does in a specific activity, which is skill related. But is it different if there are donations based around the performance of the individual? Cheers Dave"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi David, If the donations are based on the performance of the individual then they do not fall under the 'game of chance' category but there is a thing you must understand. The program you mentioned is a fundraiser and most probably not a 'trade promotion event' by the way you have described it. You might need to contact your local government on how exactly things like these are managed."
Tom Said :
"Hi Michael, Love your blog mate. A quick question. We want to offer travel agents the chance to win a trip. Every booking they make they will be entitled to another entry into the draw. We are based in South Australia (and the majority of our agents who book with us come from South Australia) - however my concern NSW and VIC. Do we need a permit? Even if it is not directly to the consumer?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Tom, Thanks for the +ve feedback - You will if the competition has an element of chance - if you switch it to a game of choice - you can avoid permits."
Jai Said :
"I am thinking of offering a prize for a free course. The competition would involved the participants making a video and those that get the most views wins. Completion would be open to Australia wide - we are based in QLD. Would we need a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"You should be fine without a permit as this is entirely a game of skill."
Kate Said :
"Hi, I want to do a competition in NSW giving away 3 $200 Hardware Vouchers. Can I just ask for Name, Number, Email & Address to enter? Do I require a permit? If so should I change to add in a 25 words or less question to enter"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Kate, best to switch this to a 25 words or less question on your entry form to ensure you comply with NSW gaming for trade promotions."
Steve Murnaghan Said :
"Hi Michael I want to run a competition offering a $500 'shopping spree' on behalf of member businesses of a chamber of commerce, in return for entrants agreeing to submit their data and receive ongoing communications from the chamber. The chamber does not have an ABN. Is the chamber a community group? Do we need a permit for this? And if so what kind of permit? thanks"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Steve, you'll likely need permits for the competition as I assume it is national. Contact the links above to find out which you will need to submit."
Matt Said :
"Hi, I work for a Foreign Exchange company who will be running a lifestyle survey. To increase response rate, there will be offering a prize worth $5,000 given away at random. This will be open to people in all Australian States. Is there an agency I can pay to take care of all the compliance work on my behalf? Cheers,"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Matt, we can assist with the above, please call the office on 1300-ANDMINE"
Alisha Said :
"Hi, I work for a zoo and want to create an instagram comp where visitors take a selfie with the animals and post their photo with the business hashtag. We will then choose one winner and they will receive a free family day pass to the zoo valid for 12 months (value of $44). I am aware that I need very clear T&Cs, so can you please advise where I can get more information about everything I need to cover in the T&Cs? Such as do I need to include the start/finish date, criteria we will be using to choose the winner etc. Can you please let me know where I can find more information about this (rules that apply to Victoria?). Thank you!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Alisha, if you contact our office, we will be able to assist with a few hour quote to draft T&Cs for your competition if you can provide the information over the phone. We can also have our legal firm re-draft them into a more robust document at an additional cost if required."
Clinton Said :
"If I enter a competition ( game of skill) and win said competition but don't receive any prize after paying my entry fee, am I entitled to any compensation ( competition was in Perth)"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Clinton - record the Terms & Conditions of the competition and any graphics, websites, marketing material as well as hold on to your information that notified you as the winner. Then speak to licensing and gambling for WA linked on this page to ensure you receive the winnings you are entitled to."
Karli Said :
"If I want to run a competition to encourage people to subscribe to a newsletter, and I award a prize to winner (total prize pool under $50) and the winner is randomly selected, open to all residents in Australia, do I need a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Karli - even though it is such a low amount, you'll need a permit because it is random."
Milos Krmpotic Said :
"Hi, great blog. Looking to run a, 'Guess how many ___ in the jar' competition. Will a permit be required if the total price value is over $5000, and will this classify as a Game of Skill if there can be multiple, and equal ($$$) winners with the same answer?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Milos, you should be okay, but because of the value of the prize, ensure your legal T&Cs are well written."
Mark Said :
"Thanks Michael - good article. I'm thinking of running a promotion where customers need to send us back a photo of our product installed in there application to receive a gift from us. In order to control the cost of this promo I was thinking of saying the first 100 to respond will receive a gift for example. Would this be classed as a game of chance because of this timing element? Many thanks Mark"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Mark, this is a direct offer and there is no game of chance. You'll just need good T&Cs on your site explaining the offer."
Cecile Said :
"Hi Michael I manage a not-for-profit retail shop in Victoria. We want to run a giveaway (total prize value is $175) most likely on Facebook to drive traffic to our social media platforms and website. We also have an online store so winners could use the vouchers to shop online. The participants would just need to enter their details in a form to gain an entry into the draw so it is a game of chance. I understand we don't need a permit in Vic or any of the other states except NSW if we want to open the giveaway to other states, but I am unclear about a couple of things: 1. Do we still need to register/be declared with the VCGLR before we can run the giveaway even though we don't need a permit? 2. Can this giveaway be open to under 18s? Thanks! Cécile"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Cecile, you will not need a permit and yes it is open to all ages."
Andy Heeps Said :
"We are a Victorian based cooking school and are launching an online cooking course to our subscribers (most of them are in Victoria) as part of the launch we were going to give away 2 kitchen appliances to 2 people if they purchase the online course within the first 7 days. Do I need a permit or need to exclude some states?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"HI Andy, no, you'll simply need to exclude NSW and ACT in the competition."
Nunzio Giunta Said :
"I want to run a song writing competition where entry costs $20 and prize pool totals $3000. There will be professional judges and clear guidelines on entry and judging. It will be for the Perth area only. Do I need a permit? Where can I find ou more information>"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Nunzio, this does not sound like a trade promotion and you'll need to investigate further with your state licensing and gaming as to which category your contest falls under."
Jeff Keiles Said :
"Hi Michael, if we want to run a competition like 'spend $150 on our website and send us a photo of you wearing your favorite (brand) outfit' - the best photo will be awarded with a prize - do we need a permit? Many thanks."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Jeff - Not if you select the winner through a game of skill. (not randomly)"
Jan Said :
"Hi Ryan, we are planning on running a video competition for an environmental group in Victoria - prize pool yet to be confirmed. From what I understand by your article, we will not need a permit to do this. Is that correct?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Jan - sounds safe without a permit"
Sara Carelli Said :
"Hi Michael, we want to launch a promotion on our website to give our customers a chance to win a prize (RRP $579.00 AUD) - from a certain date to an other one (Entry Period), every customer that buy more than $150 via our website will automatically entry the draw. Our head office is in WA but we have online customers from all over Australia. Do we need a permit to run this promotion? Thanks for your help."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Sara - If there is an element of chance, you'll need a permit."
Renee Said :
"Thanks for your article. We are based in QLD but will attend a trade show in Sydney where we want to draw a prize from people that subscribe to our newsletter at the trade show. Prize value is under $5000 and will be drawn in QLD, entry is open to everyone over 18yrs. Do I need a permit for NSW as this is where people will enter their data into the draw? Tks!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"No you will not need a permit for this Renee - Good luck at the trade show :)"
Ash Said :
"Hi, I'm looking a running multiple/separate competitions (possibly up to 205 per month) to a worldwide audience using a game of skill (25 words to win). The prize value for each competition winner would be under $5000 value. Is there a limit on the amount of competitions a business can run over a specific time frame (i.e. if I were to have multiple competitions running and expiring at the end of each month or year etc)."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Ash - There isn't a limit but the combined prize value (of all competitions) should be under $5000 otherwise you'll need a permit."
Ash Said :
"Hi, I'm looking a running multiple/separate competitions (possibly up to 205 per month) to a worldwide audience using a game of skill (25 words to win). The prize value for each competition winner would be under $5000 value. Is there a limit on the amount of competitions a business can run over a specific time frame (i.e. if I were to have multiple competitions running and expiring at the end of each month or year etc)."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Ash sorry for the delay in replying. The $5000 limit applies to the total of the 205 competitions if you are running them under the same banner."
Vincent Depp Said :
"Hey mate, I'm looking to run a competition for members on my website where they nominate their quickest elapsed time and fastest speed before each event they contest. There would be an entry fee for each contestant at each event (all states) and who ever skill fully tunes their vehicle to match their nominated performance takes all the proceeds (not for profit). Any permits or licence required?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Vincent, it sounds like a contest not a trade promotion or competition - please seek advice directly from your state licensing body."
Ryan Said :
"Hi Michael, I have a website that gives away $50 a day credited to accounts, $250 weekly cash prize and a $1000 monthly prize. Will we need permits for this? from what i have read it looks like we will be fine but theres not to much information about it. Thanks for your help Ryan"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Ryan - If the completion runs for a period long enough for you to accumulate more than $5000 in giveaways I'd recommend arranging permits."
Ryce Said :
"Hi Michael, if we were to conduct a game of chance and have it open to international residents will we require other permits in addition to the AU states' permits? There is no entry fee, it's just a simple entry form on a website. Prize total is $18.5k."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Ryce - No just the AU states permits as the prize is awarded from Australia."
Amy Said :
"HI - We want to allow our clients to choose amongst our top campaign photos. The winning photo will result in its photographer awarded a cash bonus for being selected the best photo. The photographers are national so it isn't just in NSW. Do we need a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Amy, you will not need a permit if the value of the competition prize is less than $5000 and the winners are selected by client voting, it certainly falls into the category of game of skill."
Eugene Jones Said :
"If customers who buy my product get an automatic ticket for a prize for free, and I give them additional tickets for any referred new customer, does this change the subsequent tickets given away from a free entry to an entry of value?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Eugene, no it does not effect the 'cost' of entry and it is still considered free for subsequent chances."
Sonia cuni Said :
"Hi, Thanks for your article on the website. Very informative. I am about to self publish a book and want to run a competition where I pick a winner at random, if they pre order my book or sign up to my newsletter. The prize will be a signed copy of the book and a cooking lesson. Do I need to have a permit? The value will be around $200. Thanks Sonia"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Sonia, you’ll need a permit if anyone can win your prize from the ACT and NSW"
Danny Said :
"Hi, I'm wanting to run a competition where i have people sign up to my website and from that information a user will be chosen at random to win a prize worth no more then $300. I live in NSW but this an Australian wide competition, would i still need a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Danny, unless you change your competition to a game of skill - you’ll need a permit if anyone can win your prize from the NSW."
Mark Said :
"Gday guys, looking at running a competition to local residents only in WA, cash entry, limited numbers avail, cash prises, catch tagged fish to win, will this req a permit at all? seems plenty of grey areas in my research. Any info would be great,"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Mark, i'd certainly check this with gaming and licensing in WA, it may not fit into the Trade Promotion bucket well enough to know you can skip the licence. Also once you have figured out the competition permit, it will be easy to do in future without risk of being pulled up. Good luck."
Mon Said :
"Hi, if we're running a 'game of skill' (winners chosen based on their answer to a ques), but they need to place an order with our shop to enter, do we need a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Mon, you may need a permit depending on the value of the competition prizes, however based on your question it is likey you can avoid the permit as this is not a game of chance and is a pure game of skill."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Mon, you may need a permit depending on the value of the competition prizes, however based on your question it is likely you can avoid the permit as this is not a game of chance and is a pure game of skill."
Kim Said :
"Hi! I make candles and sell them online. I would like to follow other companies who sell candles which have a random prize in the bottom of the candle worth different money amounts. If I offered prizes or money in the bottom of candles, Would I need a permit as this is a business not a charity, I'm in qld, thanks!!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Kim This is certainly not a trade promotion or standard competition so I would seek advice from Gaming and Licensing in Queensland. Good luck sounds like an interesting idea."
Olivia Said :
"Hi there, My organisation is looking to run a competition in Queensland at a one-day conference, with the prize $1000 in training services. Entry is only available at the conference. As there will be people from all over Australia attending the conference and eligible to enter, do we need to obtain permits from the other states? Thanks for your help!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Olivia, id recommend looking at a raffle under your own states gaming and licensing. If the competition is a game of skill you're well under the threshold for your particular state so should also be fine under this logic. If unsure double check with legal. Best of luck!"
Yvonne Said :
"Hello, I was wondering what permits would be required for a game of skill competition available online for entires worldwide, with an entry fee. The prize would be a holiday to the winner, value under AUD$5,000. As the prize pool would be a sliding scale based on the number of entries, what would change if the value was over AUD$5,000? Is an ABN required for this? Would making the entry fee a donation change anything? Thanks."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Yvonne, if you are charging an entry fee this is not classified as a trade promotion and you'll need to look at permits in the states (not internationally) which are applicable. This falls more under 'gaming' than 'competition' due to the entry fee. Your first point of call will be the websites above and calling each state to outline the details of your competition and if permits are required."
Felicity Said :
"Hi Michael, Thanks for your response to my question. Another quick one - If we are running a competition and having up to 6 businesses sponsor the competition, do their details need to be specified in the Terms and Conditions? Thanks"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Felicity, that is one for your legal advisor, to be safe I recommend you brief them on the complexities of the competition and the sponsors before proceeding with T&Cs."
Felicity Said :
"What are the regulations around requiring a donation of $10 to a charity to enter a competition. Will permits be required if the prize value is under $5000?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Felicity, this can probably be run under a community raffle if that sounds right - check the links above to your state government and search for 'raffle'"
Georgie Said :
"Hello, As a DGR Charity located in VIC are we able to offer an incentive prize associated with a sporting festival? For example: 'The highest fundraiser (via an external fundraising website) will receive a holiday valued at $1800'. Do we require a permit for this? Many thanks"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Georgie, you should be able to run this under a raffle for a community organisation without a permit. However follow the link above for Victoria and double check the rules around raffles and community draws."
Vicky Said :
"Hi, I am looking at running an online fantasy team competition (for a sport, eg: afl, football, etc) at a local level, where users can pick a team of players for themselves and their teams are awarded points for the actual performance of those players (actual skill of someone else). Whichever users team has the most points at the end of the competition would be the winner. Users can choose to pay or play for free (and only win prizes if they have paid). Prize money (or gift) would not exceed $200-$250. There can be multiple competitions on the website at the same time. Registered Business (sole trader), based in Victoria. Could you please guide me on what I need to do (or consider) in terms of your article. Thanks for the great article. Vicky"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Vicky, I'd recommend contacting each of the states licensing and gaming bodies you'll be operating in. This is a complex competition and may fall more under gaming than a competition permit or trade promotion. It will be a little more work to figure out, but it will help when formulating your terms and conditions and understanding the reporting requirements for your game. Best of luck"
Bob Said :
"HI Michael I aksed this question last week but I have made an amend to it. We want to run a product testing site where users are selected based on a text input. "Tell us why creativiely why you should be selected as a product tester." We then select based on the best entry. . They get to keep the products with no charge. All the products will be under the value of $5,000"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Bob, your trade promotion will not require a permit under these conditions, but please ensure you write terms & conditions which are linked to your entry form which clearly details this is a game of skill."
Charlie Said :
"Hi Michael, if I want to implement a waiting list queue, which moves people up the queue based on how many people they refer, and gives prizes to the top 200 people, would this require a permit?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Charlie, this probably will require a permit and may fall outside your standard trade promotion and more on the side of gaming. Definitely check this with the state licensing bodies you aim to promote the competition in."
Bob Said :
"HI Michael We want to run a product testing site where users are selected randomly to test and review products so its a game of chance to be selected. They get to keep the products with no charge. All the products will be under the value of $5,000"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Bob, this falls under competition permit required in a few states namely - ACT and NSW - so you'll need a competition permit if you are operating in those states. Remember to publish your terms and conditions irrespective of states you are running in."
Felicity Said :
"Hi Michael, Thanks for the article - very helpful! Just wondering what the regulations are around cancelling competitions? Comp is being run in NSW & QLD. Thanks"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"If there are provisions in your terms and conditions for cancelling the competition please abide by those. If you haven't added provisions for changing or cancelling your competition you will need to check state government licensing and gaming regulations to see what the default mechanisms are for cancelling the campaign."
Adam Said :
"Hey Michael, thanks for answering all these questions it's been very useful. Our question is what legalities/permits would be needed to operate a site that allows users to wager on themselves on an online multiplayer game. The game is skill based with no chance elements and players are only able to wager on themselves/on their own matches head to head against other players. The max prize per match will be $500. Thanks, Adam."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Adam, this sounds like it is heading down the Gambling pathway which will require discussion with Gaming and Licensing on a more detailed level than a consumer or trade promotion."
Lisa Said :
"Hi, love this post. Thanks for the info. I would like to run a promotional giveaway - value $10k - to an entrant offering their start-up business idea. The prize would then take then through a business establishment and launch. Permit required?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Lisa, as long as there is no element of chance in the process you will not require a permit. However you will need Legal terms & conditions written up in accordance with your trade promotion. I recommend checking with the states you'll be offering the promotion via their licensing and gaming websites before conducting your giveaway to double check your final promotional mechanic."
Jo Said :
"Hi Michael Our Association would like to run a raffle to raise fund. The prize would be a car. We are located in NSW but would like to sell tickets all over Australia. Do we need to get a permit for each state or only NSW?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Raffles are different than the random draw software and consumer campaigns we run. I'd check with your state's licensing and gaming in relation to the raffle vs. a random draw competition."
Steve Said :
"Hi, our company would like to run a national 'game of skill' competition with a large number of prizes. Are there limits on the number of prizes you can offer in a game of skill? Thank you"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Steve, there are no limits on the number of prizes you can offer."
Kim Said :
"Hi Michael, I'm wondering if there are implications for a person coming into contact with our website whilst in Australia, then participating in our low value (<$500) game of chance competition after they have returned to their home country overseas. We wouldn't need permits for Australian states but since they can compete online when they are overseas does that change our obligations? Thanks!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"I think you are pretty safe even if entrants return overseas you would not need to seek any additional permits outside of Australia"
Sandra Said :
"Hi, I am from Western Australia and would like to run a competition and have my block of land as the prize. Tickets would be $10 each and the person that states the best reason why they should win the block would gain the prize. Obviously, I would need to have a few hundred people enter to cover my costs. How do I go about doing this?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"A few hundred - i'm guessing a cheap block of land then !! ... Sounds like the prize will exceed the lower limit of $5000 where you could avoid permit, please check with your state gaming to be sure. Also if you offer the prize nationally, the same goes for other states. It is a game of skill, however because of the prize and i'm guessing amount it would trigger a permit requirement."
Lee Said :
"Hi there, I'm in ACT and a small group of friends and i want to run a competition of skill with a prize value of up to $1,000. We will be naming the top male and female as King and Queen of the competition. We will be charging entry fee to this competition and want to donate the funds to a charity that is very close to us. Do we need a permit for any of this? Do we need an ABN to do this? And what are the conditions on naming and promoting a competition? Thanks"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"You will not need a permit to do this as the prize value is low and it is a game of skill (you are not picking winners randomly). You should still post the terms and conditions of your competition to the entrants and public though on your website and it is best to have this come from a company with an ABN but if that is not possible, from an individual person who is running the competition."
Rachel-Ann Said :
"Hi Michael, My company does not yet have an ABN in Australia, can I still run a game of chance without any permits nationally? All the information I see states that an ABN is required."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Good question I haven't come across this before as all of the work we do is for companies. So I assume you will need a company to obtain a game of chance permit. But contact Licensing and Gaming in your state to see if you can run the competition as an individual (person)."
Joe Said :
"Hi i was wondering if i wanted to run a little raffle online were people pay $1 for a ticket (to win a $10 item ) then the ticket went in a random generator where it picked a random ticket would I need permit. (I live in Aus, NSW and it would be available nationally as well)"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Joe, yes you would need a permit."
Mark Said :
"Hi I want to run an online competition, game of skill, from Victoria for a $700 prize but it would be available to suitable entrants nationally and worldwide. Is a permit required?"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Mark, based on the above you do not need a permit to run this competition."
Shell Said :
"Hi there do I need a permit to run an art competition? We will charge a fee to entrants and a small fee for general admission to view the art show , the prize will be under $5000 , thank you :)"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Shell, check your relevant states rules on 'Raffles' - as you are charging a small fee, it will fall under this category. However, based on you value I don't think you'll need a permit, but please double check and let us know how you go."
Darren Said :
"I am looking to run an online give away (total prize pool $3000) we will ask a series of questions but they just need to complete a request to go into the draw. It will be local (Mackay QLD) will i need a permit????"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Darren, QLD have updated their website regarding competition permits, but as far as I can tell from you do not require a permit for this draw."
Brock Harvey Said :
"If I'm in VIC, but am wanting to do a national trade promotion (less than $5000 prize pool, no skill) would I need a permit for NSW and ACT? Sorry if this has been asked before, I just couldn't find these specifics. Thanks heaps in advance."
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Irrespective of prize pool if the competition is available nationally then you'll need a random draw permit. If it is local to certain states, you may want to double check with those state gaming bodies as it is far better to do everything above board, especially for an online based promotion."
Adelle Said :
"Hi, Wondering if you can clarify whether a permit is required for competitions run that are not to consumers? I have an agent base who we are wanting to offer a prize to based on the number of sales generated. It's not a consumer promotion but I can't determine whether a permit would or wouldn't be required. Thanks in advance for your advice!"
Michael Simonetti Said :
"Hi Adelle, As your promotion is a game of skill (based on the number of sales generated) you will not need a permit for this competition."
Jesse Said :
"If I were to give away $50 cash to a random email subscriber, or Facebook subscriber for instance, would I need a permit in Victoria? If not, would I be able to do this more than once a year in order to gain interest a website email list or Facebook page? As I understand it, instead of making it random, I could simply require an answer to a purposefully obtuse question which I am the judge, eliminating the need for any consideration, which seems like a loop-hole to me. For example: "In your very best hand-writing, write the answer to 1+1. Winners will be judged based on my personal preference of handwriting."
Curtis Said :
"Hey, Looking at running a tipping competition which you have to pay for entry into but there is no set prize as it will be a rolling prizepool that jackpots each week until the someone gets them all correct for the round. Wonder if these would go under the game of skill as you'll be picking yourself?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Curtis This more falls under a lottery than a trade promotion and will need a specific licence. Contact your state gaming authority and they'll point you in the right direction re applications and permits."
Bruce Said :
"Thanks Michael, though I’m not sure what you mean? How does (me, if you meant me or whoever) picking the winner not be random?"
Michael Said :
"If you pick the winner, it becomes a game of skill, (so basically not like tattslotto). This changes the requirements for a permit."
Bruce Said :
"Hi, I want to run a NSW competition of chance where only 10 tickets are sold (onsite) and the winner receives their brand exposure by way of signage on our race vehicle. Note that all entrants win a prize, the difference being the size of the signage. Do I need a permit? If so, what would be the indicative cost?"
Michael Said :
"Bruce hi, Consider changing the mechanic to a game of skill i.e. you pick the winner and it is not random - then you don't need a permit."
Joshua Said :
"Hi, I am thinking of running a competition on Facebook where contestants post their art. The entry that receives the most likes, by users of Facebook, wins the prize valued over $5,000, but under $10,000. The competition will be open for Australian residents. Will this need a permit?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Joshua, even though it is a game of skill, you will need a permit for the value is higher than $5k."
Niks Said :
Julie Said :
"Hi, I want to run a 50/50 raffle for our school spring fair where the school gets 50% & the winner gets 50% of all ticket sales. As we can't raffle off cash as a prize in Victoria but we can issue a gift card or voucher etc as a prize with no cash access, do you see any other way around it? If I run a competition with a question to answer on the ticket would this enable me to run with a cash prize? Help!"
Michael Said :
"Hi Julie, you can run this as a cash prize, just make sure your terms and conditions cover the prize value and entry mechanic for the game of skill. You may need a permit depending on the total prize value just to be safe. Check with your state government to be certain."
Suzy Said :
"We want to run a competition where entrants fill in a travel survey and then complete in a sentence why they want to win the prize (game of skill). However we want to have one prize but promote it across multiple brands. Can we do this?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Suzy, yes you can. Just remember to state this in your Terms and Conditions."
Britt Said :
"Hello, If we were to run a competition in NSW (onsite, not online), but there is a real possibility that people all over Australia will see this and enter, do we require a permit just for NSW or for each state/territory? Also, should we decide to support the promo on Social Media which would be seen nationally, would this then mean that we require a permit for each state/territory? Thanks! Britt"
Michael Said :
"If they can only enter onsite in NSW, then you only need the permit for NSW."
Christine Said :
"Do I need a registration in each state if I run a skill contest with a prize worth $10,000?"
Michael Said :
"The short answer is yes - each state will need a permit number for a prize that size if you are accepting entries from every state. However some states are a bit behind in their formal rules and i'd recommend either VIC, SA or NSW for your first round of Terms and Conditions and registration, then duplicate for the other states."
Hamish Tebbutt Said :
"Thanks Andrew, one more quick question, if an entrant was required to answer a question to go into the draw, does that count as a game of skill?"
Michael Said :
"It counts as a game of skill IF you choose the winner based on their submitted answer. We recommend something like 'in 25 words or less answer...'"
Hamish Tebbutt Said :
"Hi, I want to run a nationwide competition of chance where users submit details to win a prize package worth $500, do I need to obtain any licenses?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Hamish, as you are running a Game of Chance, some states require you to obtain a licence regardless of prize value."
Leon Said :
"We are looking to run an offer where free registration on a website puts the person in the running for a weekly prize draw of $20. the offer will continue for an unspecified length of time. Is the total prize pool the $20 or the entire amount of money given away over this unspecified time? Also, will one permit cover us for the duration? Thanks for your help Is the"
Michael Said :
"A permit will cover this and your terms and conditions should state a time period eg. Every week for 3 years."
Van Said :
"Hi, just wondering if you could help us. We're running a competition at our upcoming expo in NSW. If there's a chance that someone from the ACT to attend and win the prize, would we need to apply for an ACT permit? Thanks."
Michael Said :
"Hi Van, I think you are pretty safe as the competition is run on in NSW that you can avoid the ACT permit."
Jason Said :
"hi, was wondering if i had a website that people donate to, would i need a permit, and then if i have compititions with the left over money from donations(under $5000), is there a limit to how much donations u can get before a permit is needed. cheers"
Michael Said :
"Interesting one Jason, If people are donating, that certainly doesn't need a gaming permit. If you ran the competitions separately than the donations it should be fine without a permit, however it is always worth checking with the state gaming body."
Janine Said :
"Hi, just read your blog, and hope you can answer this client wants to offer a prize of an iPAD as a reward for clients to update and send in their contact details. Sounds like a game of chance to me (go into the draw to win...), but does the fact that it's in a personal letter to clients, not promoted, make any difference? What if they have already done this in the past?"
Michael Said :
"Yes it is a game of chance Janine, it doesn't matter if the've done this before, the randomness of the draw means you cannot run this under a game of skill."
Melissa Said :
"I'm looking at starting a small business - that is raffle like - so entrants pay a fee per ticket and then have a chance to win an item. Where is the best place to start to figure out regulations whats needed? It would essentially be like a lotto but with a prize as an item instead of money."
Michael Said :
"Sorry for the late reply Melissa, check your licensing and gambling website in your state, they will provide clear advice about running a business focused on Raffles etc. If you need a digital tool to pick random winners - let us know :)"
Michael Said :
"Hi Julie, I am from NSW. If I run a competition nationally and the prize value is less than $5000. Do I need to pay for a permit in both NSW and ACT? Or just in one state?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Julie - Sorry for the very late reply - If the prize is under $5000 you may not need a permit, but if you do and you run a national competition, you will need a permit which covers you nationally (so all states). Most prizes under $5000 can avoid a permit if you make it a game of skill, not chance."
Gaz Said :
"Relating to this blog, can you give me your opinion on the following scenario? I'm wanting to offer a competition where people will get a ticket into my competition (free) if they join up as members to my website (paid) beforehand. I will randomly choose the winner from the names of members who have joined. Does that sound like it would be defined as a game of chance?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Gaz, - this is 100% a game of chance."
Julie Said :
"Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. Your advice has been a great help and I'll be sure to add your blog to my favourites :)"
Julie Said :
"Hi, Thanks for the valuable information, a great resource. Hoping you can assist with a couple of questions. 1. Do permit numbers need to be on the advertising material? 2. If so, what penalties apply if you have the permit/s but forgot to put them on the advertising material. Many thanks in advance."
Michael Said :
"Hi Julie, Thanks for your comment; 1. Yes they should. Also Your Terms & Conditions should be visible or linked from any entry page for your competition, the permit number should appear there. 2. Unsure of the penalties as we've never had a circumstance where they were not added. However, the licensing body for your state or states would need to pick up on the mistake and generally they are reasonable. I would post an update to your website or social pages notifying entrants of the omission if possible so you've made an attempt to include them, even if they are late."
Vicki Said :
"If you are in Victoria and are running a game of skill and the prize is a travel prize and over $5000 are there any other rules?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Vicki, If the price is over $5000 i'd speak to Games and Licensing in Victoria as it may require a permit due to the value of the prize pool. Either way ensure you have clear terms and conditions in place."
Miles Said :
"My NSW university staff union branch (approx. 400 members) wants to give away an iPad in Feb 2014. Can we avoid permit if we ask members to complete a simple saying or fill in a missing letter?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Miles, In this case go with a '25 words or less' competition entry mechanic. With the low cost of the item and game of skill vs. game of chance you should be fine, however ensure your terms and conditions are still available to read by entrants. It may still be worth double checking with a quick phone call to Gaming NSW."
Trevor Said :
"Hey guys, Thanks for the great site and information! We're thinking of running an online competition where users pay a small fee (say $1) to enter the competition and the winner will get a large % of the total amount of everyone's entry fee. From the various sources I've been reading, this will require a permit (especially if the total amount of the prize will be above $10,000). If we change this to a game of skill (i.e. user pays $1 to submit an answer to a question) would we still require permits? Thanks!"
Michael Said :
"Hi Trevor, you should probably still obtain a permit if the value is above $5000 especially if you are running it nationally. But check with the states you are running it in, you do have an interesting proposal to avoid the permit application as you are running a pure game of skill."
Sam Said :
"Hi, if the competition is a game of skill (say a horse tipping competition) and there is an entry fee, it that likely to trigger the need for a permit in Victoria? The prize pool is also likely to be over $5000. Thanks Sam"
Michael Said :
"Hi Sam, a horse tipping competition has an element of chance and your entry fee will mean you will need a gaming permit (not a competition or trade promotion permit). Contact the Gaming Regulator in Victoria for further information."
Stephen Said :
"Hi thank you for the article. I wonder if you know the answer to this. In online competitions classed as Games of skill do companies running the competiions have to publish the winners by law. Are they under a legal obligation to publish the names of the winners"
Michael Said :
"Hi Stephen. As far as I know, there is no requirement to publish the results, only inform the winners. If you need to apply for a permit though, double check this."
Kate Said :
"My clients ask me about lottery permits all the time and specifically, how to differentiate between a game of skill/contest and sweepstakes style trade promotion. It inspired me to make a super simple infographic to explain the difference as well as provide the links off to the correct information (for each state)."
Lily Said :
"Hi, Thanks, helpful information! If the prize draw is global in nature, including entries and winners from more than 1 country (Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, etc.). Is permit required for each state in Australia? (total prize value of over AUD 5,000) Thanks."
Michael Said :
"Sorry for the late reply Lily, yes a permit is required in each State."
Sarah Said :
"I am looking at running a Pinup Competition (small beauty pageant) in WA and am not sure where to start with licensing. The prizes will be donated for the most part and entry is costing $25 per woman. Any ideas on where to start? Many thanks."
Michael Said :
"Contact your local state government as a paid completion entry will more than likely trigger a permit requirement."
Mark Said :
"Hi there, If I was just wanting to run a small $100 value giveaway on my Facebook page to fans, do I require a Permit? Thanks :)"
Michael Said :
"Hi mark, no but ensure you check face books terms and conditions about running a competition on their platform."
Leah Said :
"Hi, Great article! How about if the competition is under $5,000 and a game of skill on Facebook? Thanks :)"
Michael Said :
"Just make sure you check face books competition Terms to ensure you don't trigger any issues on the platform."
Leah Said :
"Hi, Great article! How about if the competition is under $5,000 and a game of skill on Facebook? Thanks :)"
Michael Said :
"Should be fine without a permit but check facebook's competition terms and conditions also"
Jo Said :
"Hi, I was wondering if you answer a question. If I’m based in WA, but my giveaway is open Australia wide, do I need to follow all states and territories rules, or just WAs. Thanks!"
Michael Said :
"Hi Jo, Yes; you need to abide by the rules for the states you operate in. To keep it simple make it a game of chance and under $5000 worth of total prizes."
Yvette @ Little Bento Blog Said :
"What about WA?"
Michael Said :
"Hi Yvette, currently permits are not required in WA. But check with the local government website for further information."
Andrew Said :
"Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you're running a competition and have your entrants/participant data in electronic format (like in excel) - to pick a winner/s randomly you basically have two options: 1. Print each one out and drop into a hat 2. Use an approved electronic draw software Hope this helps!"
Paola Said :
"That's a skillful answer to a dfificult question"
Digital Marketing Agency Said :
"Thank you The information you shared is very informative."

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It is great working with such a dedicated and competent team in this ever changing space and I would highly recommend Michael and his work. Stephanie Clayton, Marketing Services Manager, Ego Pharmaceuticals

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