What Permit Do I Need To Run A Promo In Australia?



Your go-to-guide for navigating the Australian guidelines for social media promotions.

Thinking of starting a social media promotion to develop your brand and reward your customers? Great idea, I’m here to make sure you don’t land yourself in cuffs.

Ok, I’ll admit that was a bit of an exaggeration, but be mindful there are a few things you should consider before going live with your promotion.

To make your job easier I’ve searched all the corners of the World Wide Web to create a brief summary of the guidelines and regulations. Keep in mind that this is merely advice, every situation is different and for complicated cases, you may need to consult legal advice.

Lets start with the national guidelines. Just to make it fun the Australian states decided to be indecisive and make permit requirements differ state-by-state. Because having nation-wide guidelines would be too easy right?

One thing they could agree on is the definition of Game of Skill and Game of Chance.

Game of chance: For competition to be classified as a game of chance the winner must be chosen at random with every entry granted an equal opportunity to win. This includes lottery and sweepstake style promotions.

Game of skill: A game of skill competition requires the participant to answer a question, submit something for judging, make a purchase or demonstrate skill. This includes video competitions and ‘answer in 25 words or less’ style promotions. It is an element of chance at any point in the competition it becomes a game of chance.

Once you have defined what type of competition you wish to run you can cross-check it with the state by state laws to decide whether a permit is required. Sounds too hard? Well look here I’ve done all the hard work for you (you can thank me later).


  • No permit is required for business promotions, including both game of skill and game of chance
  • The price of entry cost, by telephone or SMS, cannot exceed $1

New South Wales

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • All games of chance, regardless of the prize pool, require a permit

 South Australia

  • Games of skill do not require a permit
  • A game of chance where the prize pool exceeds $5000 or offers an instant prize requires a permit
  • The profit from entry cost, by telephone or SMS, cannot exceed 50c


  • No permit is required for business promotions
  • If a purchase is required for entering the cost of goods and services must not exceed the market price

Western Australia

  • No permit is required for business promotions
  • If a purchase is required for entering the cost of goods and services must not exceed the market price
  • The profit from entry cost, by telephone or SMS, cannot exceed 55c
  • Description of prizes must be detailed upon entry

 Northern Territory

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • Games of chance with a prize pool greater than $5000 will require a permit
  • Entry must be free


  • No permit is required for trade promotions given entry is free and the prize value is under $2000
  • If an entry is paid the total value of the prize must be greater than 20% of the profit made
  • There are greater restrictions for prizes over $2000 and $50,000

Australian Capital Territory

  • Games of Skill do not require a permit
  • All Games of chance with a prize pool greater than $3000 require a permit
  • If entry is paid the total profit needs to be awarded as the prize

All states require the names of winners of prizes valued higher than $1000 to be notified in writing and for names to be published, in print or online, for a minimum of 28 days. The prize needs to be awarded within the 28 days and can only be exchanged for something of the same or greater value if the winner agrees in writing.

Now don’t think that because you have a permit you can sit back and relax, pop your feet up. A permit allows you to legally orchestrate your promotion, but it’s no get out of jail free card. To really cover your bum, make sure you detail absolutely everything in your Terms and Conditions.

Seriously, treat your T’s and C’s as you would your family will. The only difference is if you leave something out you’re alive and will have to deal with the consequences. If there’s any confusions it may be worth consulting legal advice. To avoid crowding the post you should as a bare minimum cover the following on first impression:

  • How to participate
  • Start and the closing date
  • The nature and number of prizes
  • The existence of restrictions or limitations (age, residency, proof of purchase)
  • Promoters name and address
  • A link or instructions re-directing the user to the full Terms and Conditions
  • Date you’ll announce the winner and where

I know it sounds like hard work but trust me it will be worth it. Once you’ve got the all clear with the permit and have carefully composed your T’s and C’s there’s one last thing you need to check.

Social Platform Guidelines

Keep in mind that each social media platform also has independent guidelines for promotions and advertising.

Just about anything goes on social media, from eye-sized pimples to ignorant politicians, however, when it comes to promotions it’s important to follow the advice. The following is a breakdown of the basic promotional guidelines for each major platform.


  • Discourage users from creating multiple accounts
  • Discourage tweeting the same tweet repeatedly
  • Don’t ask users to tweet with a hashtag which is not relevant to the promotion
  • Ask users to use your ‘@’ mention, otherwise, candidates may be filtered from the search


  • Promoters can advise users to share a post however, it cannot be a condition of entry
  • Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions
  • The promotion must include a complete release from Facebook


  • If you use Instagram to communicate or administer a promotion you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion
  • The promotion must not encourage users to inaccurately tag content or spam the comment feeds of friends
  • The promotion must include a complete release of Instagram


  • The promotion shouldn’t encourage ‘spammy’ behaviour such as sending snaps to friends
  • Official rules need to be outlined in snaps
  • The promotion must include a complete release of Snapchat
  • You cannot use the Snapchat logo or official imagery in your promotion

Ok, now you have everything you need to go out and start your own successful promotion.

State-specific regulations are constantly changing. If you’re planning on running a competition with a significant prize pool, please check your updated state regulations below.


New South Wales 

Australian Captial Territory 


Northern Territory 

Western Australia 

South Australia 




2 thoughts on “What Permit Do I Need To Run A Promo In Australia?”

    1. Hey Michelle,

      Whether or not you need a permit relies on the prize value and the state in which you’re hosting your competition. Depending on what state you’re in try one of these links:

      (NSW , VIC, TAS , QLD , WA , SA

      It is best to contact your state representative first to double-check you require a permit and then from there you can apply online.

      Hopefully, that helps,

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