Competition permits / Trade promotion lottery permits / licenses

Info on running competitions in Australia

The legislative requirements for running competitions/promotions in Australia firstly depend on whether the competition/promotion is a game of skill or a game of chance.

Games of chance

Games of chance are competitions/promotions that involve the winner(s) being selected randomly. That is, there are no skills involved in selecting the winner(s). These types of competitions/promotions are regulated separately by each Australian state and territory. This means that you need to adhere to the state/territory in which the competition/promotion will run. If the competition/promotion is open to residents of all states, that is, a national competition/promotion, you will need to ensure that the competition/promotion complies with the rules and regulation of each and every state and territory.

Specifically, ACT, SA, NT and NSW may require you to apply for and obtain a permit/license called a trade promotion lottery permit/license. The requirements depend on certain variables such as the prize value and how the competition/promotion will be promoted. Whilst the other states do not require a trade promotion lottery permit/license, you need to comply with their regulations. For instance, WA requires you to email them the promotion terms and conditions.

Also note that the states have requirements around how the draws are conducted.

TPAL offers fast and easy drafting of competition terms and conditions for games of chance via a promotion wizard.

Games of skill

A game of skill usually involves the entrant being potentially awarded a prize depending on his/her response to a question or entry mechanism that involves a level of skill. You will be familiar with the common "25 words or less" competition/promotion.

For instance, the promoter may ask the entrants to answer a question such as "Tell us in 25 words or less your favourite holiday moment". The premise may be that the entrant with the most creative answer wins the prize. In other words, there is subjectivity involved in determining who the winner is.

For skills based competitions/promotions, you will need to publish relevant terms and conditions outlining the rules of the competition/promotion paying particular attention to the way that you will select the winner(s). You do not need to notify the government about the competition/promotion and you do not need a trade promotion lottery permit/license.

TPAL offers easy drafting of competition terms and conditions for games of skill via a promotion wizard.

Which type of promotion should I run?

There are advantages and disadvantages of both types.

Whilst the skill based promotions have less admin associated with them (e.g. you do not need a trade promotion lottery permit/license), you need to spend time to ensure that each and every entry is reviewed in accordance with the terms and conditions. For example, if the winner is determined as the "best entry", you must read and judge each and every entry and compare them in order to validly select the winner(s).

Game of chance competitions/promotions involve more admin work upfront (applying for trade promotion lottery permits/licenses), but selecting the winner(s) is easier and generally involves less time. Also, in the vast majority of cases, you will end up with more entries with the random draw competitions/promotions. This is because there is much less effort involved for the entrant is entering the competition/promotion. For example, you are more likely to enter a competition/promotion if all you need to do is enter an email address, than if you have to respond to a skill based question.

To find out more about how to run compliant competitions/promotions and to apply for trade promotion lottery permits/licenses, try our guided form.

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States/territories where competition permits/licenses MAY be required

ACT Trade Promotion Lottery Permit
ACT Gambling and Racing Commission
T: 02 6207 0361
NSW Trade Promotion Lottery Permit
NSW Government - Fair Trading
T: 13 32 20
NT Trade Lottery Permit
Licensing NT
T: 08 8999 1800
SA Trade Promotion Lottery Licence
South Australia Consumer and
Business Services
T: 131 882

States where competition permits/licenses are NOT* required

Queensland Government
T: 13 74 68
Victorian Commission for Gambling and
Liquor Regulation
T: 1300 182 457
TAS Department of Treasury and Finance
T: 03 6166 4444
Gaming and Wagering Commission
of Western Australia
T: 08 9425 1888
* You must still comply with the relevant regulations and legislation

1300 123 600