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One of the questions we are often asked is whether you need a permit (or more specifically, a Trade Promotion permit) for competitions on social media sites.

It’s a bit of a complex issue, but comes down to whether the competition is random (a ‘game of chance’) or a ‘game of skill’ (where “qualified or expert judges are used and the winner is adjudged against set criteria” [NSW]), and (unfortunately) the rules are different in each state. We’ve summarised the rules for each state below, and provided links to apply or find more information.

Do you need help running a competition on social media, or not sure where to start? Feel free to drop us a line. A coffee’s worth of advice is always free.

Victoria

A permit is only required if the total prize value exceeds $5000. (ref)

If no permit is required, follow the VCGR guidelines.

Since August 2012 some new guidelines have come into practice:

  • The requirement to publish names of winners now applies to all winners of prizes worth more than $1000 (up from $250) via either newspaper, website (minimum 28 days), or trade journal (or similar publication).
  • If the total prize value does not exceed $5000 all records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years after the completion of the lottery.  These records must include accurate accounting of the lottery, all entries, and the distribution of prizes.

If the total prize value exceeds $5000 a permit is required. Visit this link to apply for a VCGR account. A Trade Promotion Lottery Permit costs $317.70 and can be paid by cheque (payable to the VCGR), money order(payable to the VCGR), cash (at VCGR’s office, Level 5, 35 Spring Street, Melbourne. No change given), EFTPOS, and credit card (online and at VCGR’s office).

New South Wales

All Trade Promotions require a permit. (ref)

The licence fee is $80 if the prize value is $10,000 or less (if lodged at licence.nsw.gov.au).

It can take up to 20 working days to receive approval.

Queensland

Permits are not required.

According to the Queensland Government Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, trade promotions fall under a category 4 promotional game and do not require a permit. For full details on requirements please review the state guidelines. More information is also available here.

Northern Territory

Permits only required for lotteries where the total prize value exceeds $5,000.

In the Northern Territory there are two categories of trade promotion lotteries, minor and major. Minor Trade Promotion Lotteries refer to lotteries where the total prize value does not exceed $5,000 and Major Trade Promotion Lotteries are those that total more than $5,000. A permit is only required for Major Trade Promotion Lotteries unless a permit has been granted by another state or territory, in which case no permit is required. Applications can be made both electronically and by hand.  There does not appear to be an application fee.

South Australia

Permits only required for lotteries where the total prize value exceeds $5,000, or where prizes are awarded ‘instantly’. 

In South Australia there are two categories of trade promotion lotteries, the Major Trade Promotion Lottery and the Instant Prize Lottery Licence.  A Major Trade Promotion Lottery Licence is required if the prize value exceeds $5,000 or (regardless of prize/s value), if prizes include both instant and drawn prizes. The application fee is based on a tier system and has two categories, standard and premium (if require licence within 5 working days). For lotteries that do not exceed $10,000 the fee is $170 and $341 respectively.

An Instant Prize Lottery Licence is required if there are instant prizes (regardless of prize value) and there are no drawn prizes. The application fee is based on a tier system and has two categories, standard and premium (if require licence within 5 working days). For lotteries that do not exceed $10,000 the fee is $170 and $341 respectively.

Applications can be made online.

Western Australia

No permit is required, but guidelines must be followed.

There is no application fee or form for Trade Promotion Lotteries in Western Australia. However, similar to other states and territories, guidelines must be followed.

Australian Capital Territory

All trade promotions require a permit.

In the ACT, an application must be lodged for all Trade promotions, regardless of prize value. Much like other states and territories, the fee system is tiered, starting at $62 for total prize values that do not exceed $1000.

For more information visit their website.

Tasmania

No permit is required, but guidelines must be followed.

As with Western Australia, no permit or application is needed to conduct a Trade Promotion Lottery in Tasmania. For guidelines please refer to the website.