Frequently asked questions about competitions and competition permits

Do I need competition permits?

Competition permits are usually required to conduct chance-based competitions. There can be significant penalties imposed on your organisation by the regulatory bodies if you fail to obtain competition permits when required.

A competition that is based on skill does not involve an element of chance in determining the winners. Chance based competitions are usually more difficult to set up but do attract more entries (as they are easier to enter). An example of a skill based competition is one which asks entrants to submit an answer in 25 words or less. Winners must be selected based on the criteria set out in the competition terms and conditions.

Is it difficult to set up a competition?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to draft compliant terms and conditions and apply for competition permits in each state. Each state has different requirements under their respective gaming regulations. The reason is obviously to ensure that only legitimate competitions are run and that entry is free and all entrants are given a fair chance of winning.

We set out some of the requirements below. If you are setting up your own competition, we suggest you read the relevant regulations and guidelines produced by the State Gaming agencies. Some of the rules that State Gaming agencies apply are not published anywhere and you may only find out about them when your application for a permit is rejected.

What should I look out for?

If you are drafting your own terms and conditions be careful to fully set out how and when people can enter, what the prizes are and their value, how the winners will be determined and how you will notify the winners. You must ensure that you set out any conditions you want to impose in relation to how to enter, and in relation to the prizes themselves. It is important to be clear to avoid confusion and complaints.

You should be careful to consider how many times you want people to enter your competition. If you only want entrants to enter once, be sure to set this out in your terms and conditions. If you fail to limit the number of entries you may end up with some people entering hundreds or thousands of times! This could, or could not, be what you want. You should consider noting that use of ‘scripting software to enter is prohibited.’

Your main responsibility is to be fair and to abide by your terms and conditions. If you are going to be running a number of competitions over time, you should consider implementing policies and procedures to ensure that your company complies with the applicable regulations. Contact us to assist you in setting this up in compliance with the principles in Australian Standard AS 3806-2006.

What do I need to know when setting up a skill based competition?

While you do not need permits to conduct a skill-based competition you need to ensure that you comply with all other requirements such as those in the Privacy Act.

If your competition is open to NSW residents, you should review the NSW Department of Fair Trading’s site on Special Offers and Competitions. Requirements include that you supply the prizes that you offer and that you disclose special terms and conditions that must be met before someone can claim a prize.

What prize(s) should I give away?

The competition prize being given away will directly influence the number of entries you receive. The type of business or product you are promoting should help you determine which prize to giveaway. Giving away your own products or services as a prize can give you a good source of demographic data and potential future marketing contacts within entrants.

The type of people you want to enter will have a big impact on your choice of prize. Consider the age, gender, income and habits of entrants you want to target. Think about what is popular in that group of potential entrants at the time you are running your competition. Tastes and trends change over time so ensure you keep up to date with the latest.

Cash, Holidays, Electrical appliances are almost always sought after. Our own research has shown that the actual dollar amount of cash given away has less of an impact on the number of entries than anticipated. We have seen little difference in the number of entries received for a $10k prize pool as opposed to a $5k prize pool.

When are permits required for competitions?

You need permits for chance-based competitions where you pick winners at random. Permits are required when your competition is open to residents of NSW, ACT, and SA, VIC and WA (for promotions with a prize pool over $5K). There are substantial penalties for not complying with relevant state legislation.

Have a look at our YouTube clip on Facebook competitions and the different requirements at

Each state has its own requirements. Even states such as QLD that do not require permits have rules that you must comply with in running a trade promotion.

How long will it take to get permits?

Different states take different lengths of time to get permits back to you. At some stages SA and VIC can take three weeks to approve permits. Ultimately it depends on their workload at the time. In SA you can pay a premium fee to have your permit assessed within 5 business days.

It will typically take Permitz Group 2 days at most to draft compliant Conditions of Entry. Once you have reviewed the Conditions of Entry, we will then submit for permits the same day.

How much do the permits cost?

The cost depends on the total prize pool you are giving away. Send an email to for an obligation free quote.

Do I need competition permits for an unusual promotion?


Your competition may be a combination of skill or chance, may involve a prize that cannot be valued, or may determine the winner on the order in which they enter.

The general rule is that you will need competition permits if your promotion involves an element of chance. If your prize cannot be valued, you will still need to work out a value for your competition permit application.

The best advice is to check if you are unsure. You can either call each of the lottery agencies or call us and we will work out if you need competition permits.