Ever entered into those shopping centre competitions
that give away a car, holiday or island?
Businesses often run competitions or "trade
promotions". Because this is regulated State by State, running
a national competition can get pretty tricky.
To make sense of it all, here's what you need to know about
What is a trade promotion?
A trade promotion is conducted to promote the goods and services
supplied by a business. Entry must be free, unless you're a
charity and running the competition to raise money.
Is it a game of chance or game of skill?
You need to work out what type of competition you're
running. It will either be a game of skill or a game of chance.
Entrants to a game of skill must use a certain degree of skill
and effort when entering the competition. The winner is usually
judged on creativity or originality. An example of a lame question
for a game of skill would be "What did Kim Kardashian and
Kanye West name their daughter?". The most common game of
skill you'll see is the classic "Tell us in 25 words or
A game of chance requires the winner of the competition to be
determined by chance (surprise, surprise). Competitions where you
have to do very little to be automatically entered into a draw
(such as liking a Facebook page or spending $20 in a store) are
typical games of chance.
Do I need a permit?
For a game of skill, no. For a game of chance, yeah but no.
Here's a breakdown by location:
You need permits in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and the
In WA, you don't need a permit but the regulators want to
see the T&Cs.
If you're running the competition only in the NT, you must
get a permit. Otherwise, don't bother the NT regulators; they
are happy to accept that other States have provided you with a
How long does it take to get a permit?
The processing time for permit applications can be anywhere from
5 to 28 days depending on the State. If you're running a
national competition, you should allow at least 3 weeks for permits
Here are a few tips to help you speed up the process:
Lodge your NSW permit application online. We've found that
online applications can be turned around in as little as 24
In SA, if you're willing to pay double the usual rate, your
application can be processed in up to 5 days.
If you're still tossing up options for creative, you can
lodge a proposed concept with the application, and send in final
What do permits cost?
The permit application fee you need to cough up depends on the
total value of the prizes in the competition. If the total value is
less than $10k, you pay a lower fee than a competition where the
prizes are worth more than $100k.
What about the fine print on the
Here's what the regulators want to see on advertisements for
a national competition (other than for TV, radio and at the
the name and address of the business promoting the
the permit numbers
when the competition starts and ends
what prizes are up for grabs, and what they're worth
when, where and how many draws will be conducted
when and how the winners will be announced, and
where and how the full T&Cs can be found.
For TV and radio ads, the list is shorter but you must include
permit numbers and information about how people can enter, the
prizes you're giving away and where the T&Cs can be
Yes, it's a hideously long list but don't shoot the
messenger. We all want to see showstopping creative and we
understand it can be tricky to make fine print sound sexy, but
it's important that people can see and read the details. Go on,
show us you can do better than 6 point font. We dare you.
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The issue of recording telephone calls was recently considered in the Federal Court in Furnari v Ziegert  FCA 1080.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).