UPDATED AUGUST 2020
Competition licences and permits remain one of the most confusing aspects of running a competition for many businesses. One of the most common things we’re asked about in our strategy sessions is competition permits.
We’ve written an extensive guide to help you work out whether or not you need a licence or permit for your competition in Australia, but there are still three myths about competition licensing that persist and add to the confusion of running a legal competition.
So it’s time to bust those competition permit and licensing myths…
Everybody knows you need adequate explosives to bust myths.
Myth 1: You need a licence in every state to run a competition.
You will only need a licence or permit for the states your competition is open to.
That means the states and territories your potential entrants live in. If you only open your competition to residents of New South Wales, for example, you only need to apply for relevant permits and licences in New South Wales.
If you are only opening your competition to residents of certain states or territories; remember to include a condition in your terms and conditions outlining exactly who is eligible to enter.
Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania do not require licences for competitions regardless of whether they’re a game of chance or a game of skill and regardless of the prize value.
You can find out more about each state’s licensing rules in our competition licences guide.
Myth 2: You don’t need a licence if your prize is under $1,000.
Up until July 2020, this myth was completely false as you used to require a licence in NSW for a game of chance, regardless of the value of your prize.
On 1 July 2020, NSW Fair Trading changed their laws to only require a licence or permit (which they now call and ‘authority’) to run a game of chance competition open to NSW residents if your prize or prize pool is valued at $10,000 or more.
As for the other states… ACT requires a licence for games of chance with prizes worth over $3,000 AUD and South Australia and Northern Territory require competition licences for prizes worth over $5,000 AUD if they are games of chance. The Northern Territory Government won’t require you to apply for a licence if you have a valid licence for another state for the same competition – handy to know!
Remember that for games of skill, you won’t require a licence in any state in Australia.
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Myth 3: I only need a licence for the state where I live/where my business is based.
Another popular competition licence misconception.
Just like we said in Myth 1, above, you need a licence or permit for the states your competition is open to… not just for the state or territory where your business is based or registered.
Licences depend on where your competition is promoted and to which states it’s open to. For example, if your company is registered in Queensland, but you’re running a competition open to New South Wales residents via Facebook, you still need a licence for NSW if it’s a game of chance with a prize over $10,000.
If your contest or giveaway is open nationwide, you’ll need to check licensing and permit requirements for each state and territory, or risk hefty fines or even jail time for non-compliance.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to competition and permit requirements in Australia so you can be confident your competition won’t land you in hot water.
So there you have it, three common competition permit and contest licensing myths busted. Now you know you only need licences for the states/territories your competition is open to and that as of 1 July 2020, you’ll only need a licence if your prize is valued at over $3,000. You also know you can check here for the most up to date competition licensing and permit rules which we update on a regular basis to ensure your competition is compliant.
We know competition legals are scary and confusing. You don’t want to do the wrong thing and put your business in jeopardy for a competition. We get it… But we also get licences and permits – it’s what we do all day, every day. So if you need a hand applying for your competition permit or want to chat to us to double check you understand your contest licensing obligations, get in touch with us, we’re always happy to help!