Trade Promotions Involving Alcohol

Trade promotions involving alcohol

Conducting a trade promotion which involves the purchase of alcohol for entry or award of alcohol as a prize has certain restrictions. We have set out below the general requirements/ considerations for alcohol promotions.

Age Restriction for Entry

If you do choose to run an alcohol promotion, you must ensure you restrict entry to persons 18 years or over.

It would be prudent to explicitly have the entrant tick a box on entry confirming they are aged 18 years or over to confirm eligibility; or otherwise clearly outline on any entry form the age restriction that applies.

If the prize involves consumption of alcohol abroad, e.g. trip to a brewery overseas, you will need to refer to the minimum drinking age for that country to determine if a higher age restriction applies (e.g. if USA, must be 21yrs+).

Alcohol Prizes

There are restrictions in both New South Wales and the Northern Territory regarding the award of liquor prizes in trade promotions, as set out below:

NSW alcohol promotion restrictions:

If alcohol is awarded as a prize in a lottery trade promotion either on or off premise, under the Lotteries and Art Unions Act, the LIMIT of the amount of alcohol prizes that may be awarded to NSW winners is:

20L of liquor where the alcohol content is LESS THAN 20% a/v (e.g. wine, beer); or

5L of liquor where the alcohol content is GREATER THAN 20% a/v (e.g. spirits).

To evade this requirement, you may specify that once the limit above has been met, cash will be awarded to any further NSW winners in lieu of the alcohol portion of the prize.

E.g. if a promotion involves 3 winners, each who win 10L of alcohol with an alcohol content of less than 20% by volume and all winners are from NSW, the first two winners drawn would be awarded alcohol and the third winner drawn would be awarded the cash value of the alcohol prize in lieu of the alcohol prize.

NT alcohol promotion restrictions:

Alcohol may be awarded in NT if it comprises a minor component of the prize. (Gaming Control (Community Gaming) Regulations (NT) - Reg 20)

A prize consisting solely of liquor or liquor and money is prohibited in NT.

E.g. if a prize consists of alcohol valued at RRP$100 and an iPad (valued at $469), then this will be a legally acceptable prize in NT. However, if awarding a bottle of wine valued at $600 and an iPad valued at RRP$100, then this would not be an acceptable prize in NT.

Purchase Alcohol to Enter

The advertising or promotion of liquor must not encourage the excessive consumption of alcohol or of liquor in excess of quantity and/or speed, or reward such drinking behaviour.

Entry Limits:

Where an on-premise purchase is required for entry (e.g. purchase at a bar, venue, pub, etc where drink purchase is consumed on premises), it is necessary to impose a limit on entry to ensure you are not encouraging the irresponsible consumption of alcohol (e.g. more than 1 standard drink in 1 day). If you are to ask persons to purchase more than 1 standard drink in a single purchase, then it must be clear that the drinks are ‘to share’ with friends (e.g. buy a round of drinks for your friends). A maximum of one entry (based on 1 standard drink purchase) by each entrant per day is readily accepted by the various lottery departments.

Other factors to keep in mind for running alcohol promotions are outlined in the table below:

The below list is NOT intended to be an exhaustive list of promotions which are not permitted under the various liquor guidelines nationally. Please contact our Promotion Wizard team for specific advice in regard to your individual proposed promotion.

Factor: No Appeal to Minors

Examples of non-compliance:

Including characters, imagery, interactive games that may appeal to minors.

Factor: No use of Non-Standard measures to encourage irresponsible drinking

Examples of non-compliance:

Promotions encouraging the consumption of:

  • Alcohol in a yard glass for skolling, laybacks, slammers, blasters, bombs or consumption from a water pistol.
  • Alcohol in a giant martini glass.
  • Multiple shooters or shots by an individual.

Or Promotions:

  • which encourage an individual to purchase and consume on their own an alcoholic drink intended to be shared (that is, a drink containing a significant number of standard drinks).

Factor: Do not use emotive descriptors that encourage irresponsible consumption of alcohol (e.g. drink like a fish)

Examples of non-compliance:

  • Promotions or events which focus principally on the excessive consumption of alcohol, e.g. Mad Monday.
  • Labelling or titling of promotions that suggest irresponsible or excessive consumption of alcohol, e.g. ‘Drink like a fish’, ‘Beat the clock’.

Factor: Provision of free drinks/extreme discounted drinks for limited duration must not create an incentive to drink more rapidly

Examples of non-compliance:

Promotions providing:

  • Free drinks which encourage rapid consumption of alcohol (e.g. All you can drink in a limited time frame).
  • Drink cards, promotional cards, or vouchers which encourage rapid consumption of alcohol over a short period of time (e.g. $50 voucher redeemable between 9pm and 10pm).
  • Happy hours encouraging or facilitating the rapid consumption of alcohol.
  • Discounts of 50% or more.
  • Excessive periods of free drinks for a cover charge.
  • “Happy hour” periods of longer than 2 hours or close to closing time or that extend beyond midnight.

Factor: Do not encourage rapid/irresponsible/excessive consumption of alcohol

Example of non-compliance:

Promotions which involve:

  • The use of drinkware which encourages rapid consumption, such as test tubes, water pistols, yard glasses.
  • Drinking games, competitions, challenges, dares, lotteries or games of chance that involve the rapid or excessive consumption of liquor (such as skolling games, boat races, flip and win, ‘around the world’, 60 shots in 60 minutes’, pub golf, ‘last man standing’, ‘all you can drink’, ‘drink like a fish’ or ‘beat the clock’.
  • A practice or promotion that offers a person a reward if the person would need to drink more than 4 standard drinks in any trading period to win the reward.
  • Liquor consumption score boards, challenges or dares; liquor sculling or laybacks; drink to win competitions; ‘drinking the shelf’ (where a person seeks to drink one or more nips of a each alcohol product on an actual or metaphorical shelf at the bar), ‘beer pong’ (where patrons drink the alcoholic contents of a glass or other container if they are successful in having a ping pong ball land in it).
  • Offering free products with purchases of liquor to encourage greater volume of purchases (stockpiling) and/or consumption.
  • Awarding prizes in the form of large amounts of liquor, that the winner is expected to consume on the day.
  • Promotions that reward the purchase of bulk amounts of liquor in a single transaction. All you can drink for a set price without emphasising the service of food or responsible service of alcohol responsibilities.
  • A practice or promotion involving the use of drink cards, tickets or other methods whereby patrons purchase entitlements to multiple drinks, and no provision is made for pro-rata refund for entitlements that are not used, thereby encouraging patrons to rapidly use any entitlements that are left before closing time, or the time they need to otherwise leave the premises.

Factor: Cannot advertise/promote liquor exclusively to a specific sex or group

Examples of non-compliance:

  • Discounted drinks for members, where membership is not available to all patrons.
  • Mothers’ Day champagne that may only be purchased at a reduced rate by mothers (discounted champagne for all patrons on Mothers’ Day is permitted.

Factor: No depiction of activities that are violent, risky or dangerous

Examples of non-compliance:

Creating or suggesting a positive association between liquor and any form of violence or reckless behaviour.

Factor: Cannot be sexual or sexually degrading or sexually discriminatory

Example of non-compliance:

  • Suggestions that the consumption of an alcoholic beverage will lead to greater sexual success or desirability.
  • Wet T-shirt contests, prizes for engaging in challenges, contests or activities of a sexually suggestive, degrading, discriminatory or explicit nature.

Measures to minimise risk of patrons consuming excessive amounts of alcohol

Measures must also be taken to minimise the risk of patrons consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

This may include, but not be limited to:

  • providing free food and water to patrons
  • offering alternative non-alcoholic beverages
  • limiting the number of drinks that can be purchased on each visit to the bar
  • monitoring for and managing against stockpiling of drinks o limiting the duration of the promotion while also ensuring that this does not result in patrons drinking more rapidly within that period
  • employing additional staff (e.g. RSA marshalls) to monitor the consumption of liquor during the course of the promotion
  • limiting the number of discounted drinks that each patron is eligible for (e.g. providing a ticket to each patron for 2 discounted drinks)

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 permits without any hassles, 90% faster and half the cost of traditional legal firms.


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