Trade Promotion Permits
In Australia, whether or not you need a permit to run a trade promotion will vary depending on the prize pool you are offering and the state in which you are running the promotion
Game of Skill – Permit NOT required
A permit is not required for a game of skill promotion. A game of skill is where there is an application of judging involved in determining the winner. E.g. requiring an entrant to answer a judgeable question or post a photo, and assessing answers/photo on creative merit to determine the winner.
Game of Chance – Permit MAYBE required
A trade promotion permit is generally required when there is chance involved in determining the winner.
For a standard game of chance promotion (e.g. draw, instant win mechanic), permits may be required in NSW, ACT, and NT, depending on where the promotion is conducted and the prize pool (as outlined below) SA
Where is the promotion conducted?
Is a permit required?
Total Prize Pool:
$0.01 - $3,000: NSW Permit + (SA Permit if printed scratch and win mechanic)
$3,001 - $5,000: NSW + ACT Permits + (SA Permit if printed scratch and win mechanic)
$5,001 or more: NSW + ACT + SA Permits
Duration based authorities have replaced trade promotion permits in NSW.
A business can apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year authority, which will cover all promotions with a prize pool over $10K. There is no maximum prize pool limit.
Permit required where prize pool is $3,001 or more
Permit required where prize pool is $5,001 or more OR the promotion involves a printed scratch and win mechanic (regardless of the prize pool)
E.g. if you are providing printed scratch cards for the chance to win a t-shirt in venue, then a permit will be required in SA, even if the prize pool is only $50.
A permit is only required in NT if the prize pool is $5,001 or more AND a permit is not obtained in another jurisdiction. E.g. if you run a promotion nationally with a prize pool of $50,000, and obtain permits in NSW, ACT and SA, then a permit in NT will not be required.
VIC, TAS, QLD
Permit NOT required
VIC, TAS and QLD do not have a trade promotion permit system in place. However, you must still ensure your terms are compliant with the trade promotion legislation in those States.
How do I know where my promotion is conducted for the purposes of the above?
- State/Territory Residency of Entrants: If you are limiting entry to residents of a certain State or States, this is generally where you would say the promotion is conducted. E.g. if entry is open to NSW residents, the promotion would be considered to run in NSW.
- Where does the entry mechanic take place: If entry only occurs in a certain State, then you can argue that the promotion is only conducted in that particular State (regardless of where the entrant resides). A common example is where an entrant attends a conference event and places their business card in a bowl at the event, and winner is drawn at the event. If this event took place in Victoria, we can argue no permit would be needed (even if the winner was from NSW).
Guaranteed Offers – Everyone gets a gift! – NO Permit
If your promotion involves a guarantee of a gift for every person who completes the claim requirement during the offer period then there is no chance involved and no permits are required.
Limited Offer – First X people who enter receive gift – Permit MAYBE required
If you include a cap on the number of gifts awarded then permits may be required, as outlined below.
(a) Gift provided at point of purchase (advertising removed once stock runs out) = No Permit If you simply award a gift at the point of purchase, and advertising in store is removed as soon as all gift stocks run out, then no permits are required.
(b) Other gift claim mechanic
For any other gift claim options, you may need permits to run the offer. The States that may require permits and when they require a permit are outlined below. Please note these only apply if the offer is available in these States.
- NSW (2 or more steps = Permit Required): If a person does not know at the time of purchase whether or not they will receive a gift then a permit will be required in NSW. A classic example is where a consumer purchases in store and then goes online to claim a gift. If there are only 50 gifts available, they won’t know when they complete the purchase whether or not they will receive the gift when they go online to claim; or if at that point all gifts have already been exhausted.
- ACT (online claim = NO permit; mail claim =permit required): If there is chance in ordering claims then a permit is required in ACT. If a person submits a claim online, you can time stamp claims and it will be possible to determine which are the first X claims to be received and no ACT permit would be required. If claim is via mail, you could receive 100s pieces of mail delivered at the one time and it will be impossible to pinpoint which was the first received.
- SA (if gift pool over $5,000 = Permit Required): If the total ‘gift’ pool is over $5,000, then a permit is required in SA.
First Correct Entries Received win a Prize – Permit MAYBE required
See ‘Limited Offer’ section above, as same principals apply in determining whether or not a permit is required.
Trade Incentives – Permit MAYBE required
If you award a prize to the person with the highest sales, then there is no chance involved in determining the winner and no permits are required.
However, ensure in the event of a tie you include a ‘non-chance based’ tie-break mechanic. E.g. ask tied entrants to answer a question and award prize to most creative response.
If there you award entries into a draw based on number of sales, then winners would be determined by chance and permits may be required. See game of chance section above for details.
Tipping Competition – Permit MAYBE required
A tipping competition generally involves entrants submitting a free tip for who they believe will win for each round of a sporting season (e.g. AFL, NRL) and the winner with most correct tips wins. NSW and ACT (but not SA or any other State), usually require permits for a tipping competition, as they consider there to be chance involved in determining the winners (see Game of Chance section above for details).
Internal Competitions – Permit MAYBE required
If you are running an internal game of chance competition (i.e. entry is open to employees of the promoter business only), you may not need permits. It purely depends on whether the promotion promotes sales or not.
For example, if you ask employees to simply complete an entry from for the chance to win tickets to an event, then no permits would be required as the promotion does not incentivize trade.
However, if you award employees entries based on the number of sales completed and conduct a draw to determine a winner, then permits maybe required in NSW and SA (see Game of Chance section above for details).
ACT will not require a permit for any internal run campaign, as long as there is not external advertising of the campaign. I.e. advertising is only provided to employees. If there is a chance the general public may see the ad, then in such a case an ACT permit may be required.
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