Key Points:

Permits are no longer required to conduct trade promotion lotteries in Victoria, but businesses must still comply with mandatory conditions.

Changes to the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic) have removed the requirement for businesses conducting a trade promotion lottery to apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation for a permit to conduct the trade promotion. From 20 June 2015, a permit will not be required to conduct a trade promotion lottery in Victoria regardless of the value of the total prize pool.

Each State and Territory in Australia has its own set of regulations setting out how trade promotion lotteries should be conducted. Permits for trade promotion lotteries are not required in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, while all trade promotion lotteries conducted in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory require a permit. Permits are required for trade promotion lotteries conducted in Northern Territory and South Australia only if the total prize pool value exceeds $5,000 (as has been the case in Victoria until now).

Mandatory conditions for all trade promotion lotteries in Victoria

New regulations made under the Gambling Regulation Act set out mandatory conditions which now apply to all trade promotion lotteries conducted in Victoria. These are similar to the requirements which previously applied to trade promotion lotteries conducted without a permit.

Businesses conducting a trade promotion in Victoria must:

  • ensure the lottery is conducted in a manner that is not offensive or contrary to the public interest; 
  • ensure all information designed to induce entry into the promotion includes the closing date, details of the draw, eligibility requirements and the name and date of the publication in which winner names will be published; 
  • ensure each ticket in a draw has a random and equal chance of being drawn; 
  • publish winner names for prizes worth more than $1,000, and notify all winners in writing;  
  • include in the conditions of entry details of the purposes for which entrant information will be used (other than to conduct the lottery) and not permit entrant information to be used for any other purpose; 
  • award prizes within 28 days; 
  • ensure prize winners are not required to incur any cost to accept a prize (other than a trivial cost); 
  • make provision for alternative winners if the original winner cannot be readily identified; 
  • only substitute an advertised prize if the winner agrees in writing and the substituted prize is of the same or greater value than the original prize; and 
  • keep records in relation to finances, entries and prizes for three years. 

There are additional requirements for "scratch and win" promotions – businesses conducting these must ensure that the conditions of entry include details of the maximum number of cards and the total number and individual value of prizes. They also cannot use printing errors and other quality control matters as a reason for denying a prize.

Finally, if the promotion is being conducted by a third party, that third party must obtain the consent of the business being promoted, and conduct the lottery primarily to benefit that business.

Enforcement

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation will continue to regulate trade promotion lotteries conducted in Victoria. If businesses conduct a trade promotion lottery in Victoria without complying with the new mandatory conditions, a penalty of $8,857 may apply for first time offenders and a penalty of $14,761 may apply for repeat offenders.