Australians rejoice! The day we’ve been dreaming about since we were little boys and girls is finally here (well, it feels that long for me at least)!

As of 1 July 2020, you no longer need to obtain a licence to run a competition (or trade promotion) in NSW if your total prize pool is under $10,000 AUD.

I repeat. If the total value of your prize or prize pool is under $10,000 AUD, you no longer need to apply for a Trade Promotion Lottery Licence in New South Wales!

What’s changed with NSW competition licences?

Two new pieces of legislation, The Community Gaming Act 2018 and the Community Gaming Regulation 2020 came into effect on 1 July 2020.

These two beautiful new acts and regulations mean you save money, time and stress every time you want to run a competition – with hugely simplified new licensing rules for competitions open to New South Wales.

NSW Fair Trading’s changes to legislations announcement lists the key changes as:

  • Replacing activity-based permits with duration-based authorities (1, 3 or 5 years)
  • Increasing thresholds to only require gaming activities with high total prize values to hold an authority
  • Removing the cap on ticket price for all permitted gaming activities
  • Introducing a less prescriptive “rules” scheme that allows operators to set their own conditions to gaming activities
  • Prescribing general fairness and accountability provisions that require operators to conduct gaming activities with integrity
  • Introduction of penalty infringement notice offences when the laws are not followed.

Translated, these changes mean you only need a licence for your game of chance competition in NSW if your prize is valued over $10,000. Plus, if your prize pool is over $10,000 then you have much cheaper and much more flexible licensing options.

What do the new NSW licensing laws mean for your competition?

This is absolutely huge news.

Before, when you ran a competition open to NSW residents, you needed to obtain a licence for your game of chance competition, regardless of the value of your prize. Even if you were just giving away a $10 ebook, if it was a game of chance entry method, you needed a $80.32 AUD licence, no exceptions.

The licence (whilst admittedly usually fairly quick) could take up to 21 business days to be approved, which meant planning your launch date around waiting times and the application process was clunky, time-consuming and cumbersome.

As of 1 July 2020, you will only need to apply for a NSW Fair Trading Trade Promotion authority (their new word for licence) if the total value of all prizes you’re giving away as part of your competition is more than $10,000 AUD.

SO WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR PRIZE IS VALUED AT MORE THAN $10,000?

If the total value of your prizes for your competition is over $10,000 there’s still good news.

In an effort to “minimise regulatory burden, remove unnecessary red tape and provide greater flexibility to operators”, NSW Fair Trading have introduced a new permit/licence structure which they are referring to as ‘authority’ to run a competition.

In addition, the old per-competition permit pricing, which saw licensing fees of up to $2,400 AUD for some competitions; has been replaced by new duration-based ‘authority’ which permits businesses to run multiple competitions within a 1, 3 or 5 year period with an absolute maximum cost of $800 for 5 years worth of authority to run competitions.

Here’s the new pricing structure:

The new costs for ‘authority’ to run your competition in NSW if your prize is over $10,000 from NSW Fair Trading website.

Why are we so bloomin’ excited about the NSW competition law changes?

In case you can’t tell, we’re a tad excited about these changes.

OK, that’s an understatement, we’re break open the champagne and pop the party poppers excited about these changes.

It’s been almost exactly four years since, what was then Liquor and Gaming NSW, consulted the public on potential legislation changes to archaic trade promotion (competition) laws made in 1901. Yes, you read that right – 1901.

We, of course were front of the queue to give our feedback on the proposed changes and advocate for small business owners and marketers everywhere who shouldn’t have to fork out $80 for a licence, especially when their prize was worth less than that.

Back then, we were beside ourselves with joy at prospect of a legislation change and every time we phoned Fair Trading with a licence enquiry, we’d grill the poor person who answered the phone about when these changes would come into effect – but it would prove to be a lengthy wait.

More often than not, when talking to small businesses, even though they wanted to run a game of chance competition to help promote their business, they were put off by the need to get a licence for NSW and often decided not to run a competition due to cost. Some changed their game of chance competition to a game of skill competition, compromising their competition results and forgoing the entry method of their choice, simply because of the cost and complication involved in applying for a licence.

These legislation changes mean more businesses can run more competitions to promote their products and services without lengthy waits for permits and prohibitive – at least for some – licence costs.

We’re extremely excited about these changes – we’re hoping it’s going to encourage more businesses to run trade promotion competitions to help promote their businesses, products and services and we’re extremely pleased to see the NSW government cut the red tape and admin for businesses. It’s been a long time coming, oh but the wait was worth it!

If you have questions about the new competition permit changes or competition licences in general, drop us a comment below or get in touch with us via our contact page. If these new licensing and permit changes mean you’re now planning on running a competition, why not book in a free competition chat with our competition experts to sound out your idea and get some professional advice on making the most of your competition.

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