When do I need a competition permit?

We are often asked when a competition permit is actually required?

General considerations

Competition permits are typically required for chance-based competitions. Usually this is easy to determine. For example a competition which involves a draw when determining the winners will require a competition permit. A competition permit is not required for a game of skill where the winners are determined by a qualified judge. For example a competition that asks entrants to provide an answer in 25 words or less would not require a competition permit if the winners of that competition were judged on the basis of their answer.

Other types of competition are not so easy to classify. Some competitions involve both skill and chance in determining the winners. An example of a mixed game of skill and chance might be where entrants need to submit answers in 25-words-or-less which are judged by a qualified judge but then given a chance to win a major prize by just participating in the promotion. To determine the major prize winner a draw might take place. In such a situation the whole competition would need to be reviewed by the state gaming authorities. In such a situation it may be possible to split the promotion if the Promoter were looking to reduce the cost of permits.

Specific consideration

Another aspect to consider is whether the competition will be open and advertised nationally. Of the different states in Australia: New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia are the only states that require you to apply for a competition permit. A competition permit will be granted in WA under the regulations by default provided that your competition complies with the permit conditions and that you submit a copy of your terms to the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. You will need a competition permit from the Northern Territory if you don’t have a competition permit in another state or territory.

There are some exemptions that you may be able to take advantage of. For example in the Australian Capital Territory you will not need a competition permit if your promotion is centered on the grant of a refund of a purchase price (and provided you comply with the other aspects of the exemption).

You will also need to review whether you are exempt from the need for a competition permit based on the total you are giving away. You won’t need a competition permit from South Australia and Victoria if your total prize pool is under $5,000 (and your competition mechanic- for SA- is not instant win).

How do I obtain a competition permit

Once you have determined if you need a competition permit the next step is to apply. Each state has a different competition permit application process. It is important to ensure that your competition complies with the various requirements in each state. If your competition does not comply you are not likely to obtain a competition permit. Permitz can apply for competition permits on your behalf.

Once you have the competition permits you require you will need to ensure you include them in all advertising, along with the other mandatory information.

Please let us know if you have any questions on the above or would like us to review whether or not your competition needs a competition permit.