A Guide to Giveaway Rules and Regulations in Australia

Organising a giveaway can be an effective way to boost engagement, reach new customers, and increase brand awareness. However, before launching a giveaway, it's essential to understand the legal requirements and regulations in Australia. Failure to comply with these rules can result in legal repercussions and damage to your brand's reputation. In this guide to giveaway rules and regulations in Australia, we'll cover everything you need to know to run a successful and compliant giveaway. From the types of giveaways permitted to the disclosure requirements, we've got you covered. So, let's dive into the world of giveaway regulations and ensure your next giveaway is a success!

Legal Framework for Giveaways in Australia

When hosting a giveaway in Australia, it's crucial to understand the legal framework surrounding giveaways to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Australian authorities. While giveaways can be an effective marketing tool, there are specific guidelines that must be followed to ensure fairness, transparency, and adherence to consumer protection laws.

Here is an overview of Australian Consumer Law in relation to trade promotions.

Under Section 154 of the Australian Consumer Law

It is an offence under the ACL to offer a rebate, gift, prize or other free item with the intention of not providing it in connection to a competition. Therefore if you advertise a promotion you cannot then cancel this promotion for example due to low number of entries as you are under an obligation under the ACL to provide the prize once the promotion is advertised.

Under Section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law

A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. Therefore, particular care must be taken in advertising a promotion to ensure you are not misleading consumers. For example, the prize shown must represent the prize to be awarded. You cannot advertise the prize as a White Ford Mustang when you are actually awarding a Red Fiat. Some other typical things to keep in mind are ensuring that the terms and conditions match what is specified in any advertising and this in turn matches how the promotion will actually run. For example, the headline or promotion title is not misleading regarding prizes to be won or chance to win.

Unfair Practices

The ACL prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair practices in relation to competitions. This includes falsely representing the chances of winning a prize, failing to award a prize as promised, or imposing unreasonable conditions on claiming a prize.

The Role of the ACCC in Governing Trade Promotions and Competitions

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent statutory authority that enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and promotes fair trading and competition in Australia. The ACCC's role is to protect and promote the interests of consumers and ensure that businesses comply with the laws that govern competition, consumer protection, and product safety. The ACCC takes action against corporations for misleading and deceptive conduct and the penalties can range to up to $50,000,000 for a corporation which breaches this condition.

Key Terminology

To navigate the world of giveaways and understand the rules and regulations in Australia, it's important to familiarise yourself with common terminology used in this context. Here are definitions for some key terms:


A sweepstakes is a type of giveaway where winners are selected at random. Participants typically enter by providing their contact information, but no purchase or skill-based entry is required. Winners are chosen through a random draw, and the element of chance determines the outcome.


In Australia, a lottery is generally associated with games of chance that offer prizes to winners. Unlike sweepstakes, lotteries typically require participants to purchase a ticket or make a payment to enter. Lotteries are heavily regulated, and specific licences are required to operate them.


A competition differs from a sweepstakes or lottery as it involves skill or judgement as a determining factor in selecting the winner(s). Participants are typically required to complete a task, such as submitting an entry, answering questions, or showcasing a particular skill. The winner(s) are chosen based on merit, skill, or judgement criteria outlined in the competition rules.


Prizes are the rewards offered to participants or winners of giveaways. They can range from physical items like products or gift cards to experiences such as trips, concert tickets, or exclusive access. The value and nature of the prizes should be clearly outlined in the giveaway rules.


Eligibility refers to the criteria that determine who can participate in a giveaway. Common eligibility requirements may include age restrictions (e.g. participants must be 18 years or older), residency limitations (e.g. open to residents of Australia only), or other specific criteria as outlined in the giveaway rules.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are the rules and guidelines that govern the giveaway. They outline important details such as entry requirements, prize descriptions, eligibility criteria, winner selection process, and any additional terms participants must adhere to. It's essential to have clear and easily accessible terms and conditions to ensure transparency and provide participants with all the necessary information.

Types of Giveaways

When it comes to hosting a giveaway in Australia, there are various types to consider, each with its own rules and regulations. Understanding the distinctions between different types of giveaways will help you determine the most suitable approach for your promotional campaign. Here are four common types of giveaways to consider.

Sweepstakes Giveaways

Sweepstakes are popular giveaways where winners are selected at random. Participants typically enter by providing their contact information, but no purchase or skill-based entry is required. The element of chance determines the outcome, making sweepstakes relatively simple to enter. However, it's crucial to comply with Australian regulations regarding fair conduct, transparency, and privacy when organising a sweepstakes giveaway.


Lotteries in Australia involve games of chance that offer prizes to winners. Unlike sweepstakes, lotteries usually require participants to purchase a ticket or make a payment to enter. It's important to note that operating a lottery requires specific licences and compliance with stringent regulations. If you plan to run a lottery-style giveaway, ensure you meet all the legal requirements, including obtaining the necessary permits and adhering to relevant guidelines.

Skill-based Competitions

Skill-based competitions are giveaways where participants are required to showcase their skills or judgement to win. These competitions typically involve completing a task, such as submitting an entry, answering questions, or creating content that demonstrates skill or creativity. In skill-based competitions, the winners are chosen based on merit, skill, or judgement criteria outlined in the competition rules. This type of giveaway provides an opportunity to engage participants in a more interactive and challenging manner.

Social Media Contests

Social media contests have gained popularity as a way to promote giveaways and engage with a wider audience. These contests can encompass various types, such as photo contests, caption contests, or voting-based competitions. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter often have their own guidelines and requirements for running promotions on their platforms. It's essential to understand and comply with these guidelines to ensure a smooth and compliant social media contest.

Regardless of the type of giveaway you choose, it's crucial to familiarise yourself with the applicable rules and regulations in Australia. Ensure that your giveaway adheres to consumer protection laws, privacy regulations, and any specific licensing or permit requirements. Providing clear terms and conditions, eligibility criteria, and guidelines for participation will help ensure a fair and compliant giveaway that benefits both your brand and participants.

Essential Elements of a Giveaway

When organising a giveaway in Australia, there are several key elements to consider to ensure a fair, transparent, and legally compliant promotion. By paying attention to these essential elements, you can create a successful giveaway that meets all necessary requirements. Here are the crucial elements to include in your giveaway.

Eligibility Requirements

Clearly define the eligibility criteria for participants. This may include age restrictions, residency limitations, or any other specific requirements. Make sure the eligibility requirements are reasonable and clearly stated in the giveaway rules.

Entry Methods and Restrictions

Outline the different entry methods participants can use to enter the giveaway, including both free entry options and any purchase requirements. Clearly explain how participants can enter without making a purchase, such as by submitting an entry form or sending a mail-in entry. If there are any restrictions on the number of entries, clearly communicate this information as well.

Prize Conditions and Value

Provide detailed information about the prizes offered in the giveaway. Specify the nature of the prizes, their approximate retail value, any associated costs or restrictions, and whether they are transferable or redeemable for cash. Clearly communicate any expiration dates or other conditions that may apply to the prizes.

Privacy Considerations

When collecting personal information from participants, ensure compliance with privacy laws, such as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Clearly state how the data will be used, stored, and protected. Obtain consent for any future marketing communications and clearly explain participants' rights regarding their personal information.

Compliance with Advertising and Promotion Laws

Ensure your giveaway complies with relevant advertising and promotion laws, including the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Avoid any misleading or deceptive practices in your promotional materials, and make sure your terms and conditions are transparent, easily accessible, and comply with all applicable laws.

Drawing and Announcing Winners

Clearly outline the process for selecting winners, whether it's a random draw, a judged selection based on skill, or another method. Specify the date and time when winners will be chosen and how they will be notified. Consider alternative winner selection methods if the originally chosen winners do not respond within a specified timeframe.

Creating Giveaway Rules

When organising a giveaway in Australia, creating clear and comprehensive giveaway rules is essential as they set the foundation for a fair and compliant giveaway. Well-crafted rules instil confidence in participants, foster transparency, and help avoid misunderstandings or disputes.

When drafting giveaway rules, include essential information such as the eligibility criteria, entry methods, start and end dates of the promotion, prize descriptions, any purchase requirements or free entry options, and how winners will be selected and notified. Additionally, specify any additional terms, such as liability limitations, rights to use participant content, and dispute resolution procedures.

It's crucial to draft giveaway rules in clear and concise language. Use plain and understandable terms, avoiding complex legal jargon that may confuse participants. When rules are easy to read and comprehend they are accessible to a wide audience. Including a table of contents or section headings can help participants quickly locate specific information within the rules.

Before launching the giveaway, thoroughly review the drafted rules to ensure accuracy and compliance. Seek legal advice if necessary to confirm adherence to relevant laws and regulations. Also, consider involving stakeholders such as marketing, legal, and compliance teams to review and approve the final version of the rules.

To quickly launch a giveaway with compliant rules and regulations have you considered using the self-serve Plexus Promotion Wizard? Our online tool is designed to help you generate giveaway rules based on your specific promotion details. It streamlines the process and ensures compliance with applicable regulations.

Do You Need a Permit or Licence?

When planning a giveaway in Australia, it's important to determine whether you need a permit or licence to conduct your promotion. While not all giveaways require permits or licences, certain types of promotions may have specific requirements. Here are some factors to consider:

Prize Value

In some Australian states and territories, the need for a permit or licence depends on the total prize value offered in your giveaway. Different jurisdictions have different thresholds, so be sure to check the requirements specific to your location. If the total value of your prizes exceeds the specified threshold, you may need to obtain a permit or licence.

Game of Chance vs. Skill-Based Competition

The type of promotion you are running can also influence whether you need a permit or licence. Sweepstakes or lotteries, which rely on chance, often require permits. On the other hand, skill-based competitions, where winners are chosen based on skill or judgment, may not require a permit. However, it's essential to consult the regulations in your jurisdiction to determine the exact requirements.

Specific Jurisdiction Regulations

Each Australian state and territory has its own regulations regarding permits or licences for giveaways. It's crucial to research the requirements applicable to your specific location.

ACT permit rules

NSW permit rules

QLD permit rules

VIC permit rules

Check with the relevant government authorities, such as consumer affairs departments or gambling and licensing bodies, to understand the rules that apply to your giveaway.

Exemptions and Exceptions

Some types of promotions may be exempt from permit or licence requirements. For instance, promotions conducted solely for charitable purposes or small-scale promotions with low prize values might be exempt. Again, it's important to review the regulations carefully to understand any exemptions or exceptions that may apply.

To ensure compliance with giveaway regulations, consider seeking legal advice or consulting resources provided by relevant authorities. They can provide guidance on whether your promotion requires a permit or licence and assist you in the application process, if necessary. Failing to obtain the required permit or licence when applicable can result in penalties or the cancellation of your giveaway.

Promoting the Giveaway

Promoting your giveaway effectively is essential to maximise participation and generate excitement around your promotion. By utilising strategic marketing tactics, including leveraging social media platforms and adhering to advertising guidelines, you can reach a wider audience and ensure compliance with regulations.

Effective Marketing Strategies

To spread the word about your giveaway, employ a combination of online and offline marketing strategies. Utilise your website, blog, and email newsletters to inform your existing audience about the promotion. Additionally, consider paid online advertising, influencer partnerships, and collaborations with relevant brands or organisations to expand your reach. Offline tactics such as print advertisements, flyers, and radio spots can also be effective depending on your target audience.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media platforms offer a powerful way to engage with your audience and amplify your giveaway's reach. Create captivating posts, images, or videos to announce the giveaway, and encourage participants to share with their networks. Leverage relevant hashtags and collaborate with influencers or micro-influencers in your niche to increase visibility. Remember to comply with the specific guidelines and requirements of each social media platform when running promotions on their platforms.

Compliance with Advertising Guidelines

When promoting your giveaway, ensure compliance with advertising guidelines and regulations in Australia. The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) provides a code of ethics that outlines standards for advertising practices. Avoid any misleading or deceptive statements, clearly disclose any conditions or restrictions, and clearly state the terms and eligibility requirements. Additionally, be transparent about any sponsorships, endorsements, or collaborations.

A well-executed promotion will not only drive engagement but also enhance your brand's visibility and reputation. So remember to monitor and respond to participant inquiries, encourage user-generated content, and measure the success of your promotion through analytics and feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are giveaways considered gambling in Australia?

No, giveaways are generally not considered gambling in Australia as long as they meet specific criteria and do not rely solely on chance.

Can minors participate in giveaways?

Minors can participate in giveaways in Australia, but there may be age restrictions or additional requirements depending on the specific promotion and the nature of the prizes involved.

What are the key disclosures that must be made in giveaway promotions?

Key disclosures that must be made in giveaway promotions include the eligibility criteria, entry methods, prize details, any purchase requirements, and any other significant terms or conditions that may affect participants' decision to enter.

Can companies require participants to purchase products to enter the giveaway?

No, companies cannot require participants to purchase products in order to enter a giveaway in Australia, as this would be considered an illegal lottery; however, they can offer a free alternative method of entry.

Are there any specific rules for giveaways on social media platforms?

Yes, there are specific rules and guidelines for giveaways on social media platforms. Each platform has its own terms of service and promotion guidelines that must be followed, including rules regarding disclosures, entry requirements, and proper administration of the giveaway.

Ensuring Compliance and Handling Issues

When organising a giveaway, it's crucial to prioritise compliance with applicable laws and regulations to maintain fairness and transparency. Failure to comply with giveaway rules can result in potential legal ramifications, including fines, penalties, and other consequences.

Potential Legal Ramifications for Violating Giveaway Rules

Violating giveaway rules can lead to serious consequences. Regulatory bodies and authorities may impose fines or penalties for non-compliance. It's important to be aware of the specific laws and regulations governing giveaways in your jurisdiction and take proactive measures to adhere to them. Consult legal professionals to ensure compliance and minimise the risk of legal issues.

Monitoring and Ensuring Compliance

Regularly monitor your giveaway to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Keep track of entries, eligibility, and prize fulfilment processes to mitigate any potential compliance risks. Maintain accurate records of the promotion, including the terms and conditions, entry data, and winner selection process. Conduct internal audits and reviews to identify and rectify any compliance issues promptly.

Handling Disputes and Complaints

Establish a system to handle participant disputes and complaints effectively. Provide a dedicated point of contact for inquiries and concerns, ensuring timely and professional responses. Investigate and address complaints promptly, following fair and transparent procedures. Document all communication and actions taken to demonstrate a diligent and responsive approach to resolving issues.

Resolving Issues with Winners

If any issues arise with winners, such as prize delivery problems or disputes regarding eligibility, handle them in a fair and transparent manner. Clearly communicate the resolution process to all parties involved, ensuring that decisions are based on the terms and conditions outlined in the giveaway rules. Seek legal advice if necessary to navigate complex situations and ensure a satisfactory resolution for all parties.

By monitoring compliance, promptly addressing disputes and complaints, and resolving issues with winners in a fair and transparent manner, you can mitigate potential risks and maintain the integrity of your giveaway. Prioritising transparency, responsiveness, and fairness will help to build trust and enhance the overall success of your giveaway promotion.


In conclusion, organising a giveaway can be an exciting opportunity to engage with your audience, but it's important to do it right. In Australia, regulatory bodies and authorities have strict rules and regulations governing giveaways, and non-compliance can result in fines or penalties. It's crucial to be aware of these laws and take proactive measures to adhere to them.

To ensure compliance, regularly monitor your giveaway and keep track of entries, eligibility, and prize fulfilment processes. Maintain accurate records of the promotion and conduct internal audits and reviews to identify and rectify any compliance issues promptly. Establish a system to handle participant disputes and complaints effectively and handle issues with winners in a fair and transparent manner.

By prioritising transparency, responsiveness, and fairness, you can mitigate potential risks and maintain the integrity of your giveaway. Consult legal professionals to ensure compliance and minimise the risk of legal issues. By following these guidelines, you can enhance the overall success of your giveaway promotion and build trust with your audience.

Guaranteed compliance for your next competition, sorted.

Plexus Promotion Wizard offers end to end legal support for competitions & promotions. Custom T&Cs and the right competition permits without the hassles. 90% faster and half the cost of traditional legal firms.


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