Trade Promotions Update: ACT removes the requirement for permits for “low risk” trade promotions

November 17, 2015 Published by

Businesses running trade promotions where the total prize value does not exceed $3,000 will no longer need to apply for a permit in the Australian Capital Territory.

The ACT Gambling & Racing Commission has expanded the types of lotteries that no longer require approval for their conduct under section 6(1) of the Lotteries Act 1964 (the Act). Exempt lotteries in the ACT now include:

  • a Trade Promotion Lottery where the total prize value does not exceed $3000;
  • a Raffle where the total prize value does not exceed $2,500;
  • a Housie session where the total prize value of each session does not exceed $1,000;
  • a Calcutta event where the total prize value does not exceed $1,000
  • a lottery where “prizes” or rewards consist totally of the granting of rebates, discounts or other allowances in respect of amounts payable, or the granting of refunds of amounts paid for goods sold or services performed in the course of carrying on that trade or business which are equally available to all customers; or
  • a lottery which comes within the definition of a private lottery as defined in the Lotteries Act 1964 (where participation is restricted to members of the same association or who work or reside in the same premises and where there is no external advertising of the promotion).

Lotteries that fit within these parameters do not require a permit to be conducted in the ACT, as they are considered to present a low risk of gambling harm and minimal risk of fraudulent or unlawful behaviour. However, exempt lotteries must still comply with other requirements of the Act to ensure consumers are protected and the integrity of the trade promotion is maintained.

Pursuant to section 6A of the Act, the following conditions apply to the conduct of exempt lotteries:

  • each ticket or entry in the lottery must have an equal chance of winning;
  • the winning ticket or entry, and, if available, the identity of the person who holds the winning ticket or entry, must be recorded by the person conducting the lottery;
  • the person conducting the lottery must make the results of the lottery available to subscribers (for example, via a newspaper, email, website or newsletter) and if the identity of a person who holds the winning ticket or entry is known—tell the person the results of the lottery;
  • a person who wins a prize must not be charged a fee when the person receives the prize;
  • the person conducting the lottery must not conduct the lottery or advertise the lottery in a way that, having regard to the lottery participants, could be considered inappropriate or offensive;
  • for a lottery with 2 or more prizes—the major prize must be drawn first, unless a winning ticket or entry is eligible to win another prize;
  • the person conducting the lottery must do everything reasonably necessary to ensure that a person entitled to a prize in the lottery receives the prize;
  • if a prize is not claimed within a reasonable period, taking into account the nature of the prize, the person conducting the lottery must draw another winning ticket or entry; and
  • the person conducting the lottery must take reasonable steps to identify a person who holds a winning ticket or entry.

The developments in the ACT follow Victoria’s recent removal of the requirement to obtain a permit for any trade promotion running in that state. From what we have observed, these changes coincide with an increase in game of skill promotions, particularly in the social media space.

If you are uncertain whether your lottery is exempt in the ACT under the Act or require assistance drafting your Terms & Conditions, feel free to give us a call for guidance.

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