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Liquor & Gaming | ClubsLiquor & Gaming

The dos and don’ts of running club promotions post-shutdown

As seen in Clubs Queensland Club Insight August September edition

“Buy a main meal and go in the draw to win!”

“Renew your membership now for a chance to share in $2,000 worth of prizes!”

As Clubs continue to reopen following the COVID shutdown, you may be thinking about running “free entry” games such as these to get more patrons through the door. The typical format is that your Club promotes certain goods, services, or membership packages by offering patrons the chance to win prizes if they purchase those goods, services or packages from you.

Although you do not need a licence to conduct these promotional games, they are regulated as “Category 4 promotional games” under the Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999 (Qld) (Act) and there are a number of legal requirements that you must adhere to.

Terms of entry

Where participants are required to buy goods or services to enter the promotion then you must not charge any more than the market value of those goods or services. You must also ensure that the terms and conditions of the promotion are readily available and properly followed. Your terms and conditions must include:

  • the name of the person conducting the promotion;
  • eligibility requirements;
  • a description of each prize and its retail value;
  • the closing date;
  • whether the promotion includes a round where participants are eliminated (if so, then you must not have more than one round of eliminations);
  • the date when prizes will be drawn, which must be within one year of the day when the promotion starts;
  • unless prizes will be drawn in descending order of value – the order in which prizes will be drawn;
  • the way in which prize winners will be notified;
  • whether or not results will be published and, if so, how and where they will be published; and
  • whether there will be a redraw, or whether the prize will jackpot, if the winner is not present.

Prizes

Restrictions apply to the prizes that you can offer as part of the promotion. Specifically, you cannot offer tobacco products, surgery, weapons, ammunition, or other products if the sale or acquisition of those products is restricted by law, nor can you offer a ticket or chance to win in a separate game that has not been approved by law. Alcohol may be offered as a prize, provided however that persons under 18 years will not be allowed to enter the promotion if the prizes include either alcohol or gaming products such as lottery tickets or vouchers to play poker machines, casino games, or the like.

With the exception of promotions that require participants to use their knowledge, skills or judgement, each participant must have a fair and equal chance to win the major prize when the promotion is drawn. For example, games that require knowledge or skill may require the participants to answer a question correctly to go into the draw, or may offer a prize for “the person who can provide the best answer in 25 words or less”.

Prizes must be delivered within one month of the winners being announced, unless the winners have otherwise agreed in writing.

Where the winner requests that a prize be substituted then the person conducting the promotion must agree to this in writing. Moreover, the substituted prize must be similar to the original prize, and of the same or greater value.

Unclaimed prizes must be kept for three months after the winner is announced and then, if the prize still has not been claimed after the three months, the prize must be re-drawn. The exception is that unclaimed prizes can jackpot or be re-drawn in less than three months if the conditions of the promotion allow for this.

Conclusion

While it can be easy to overlook the requirements for trade promotions, it is important to follow these stipulations to avoid the risk of penalties under the Act, which may include fines of up to $26,690.00.  Serious offences under the Act, such as bribery or cheating to alter the result of a promotional game, also carry the risk of fines or up to two years’ imprisonment.

If you have any questions about the ins and outs of planning your club promotions, or would like to discuss other options for increasing patronage in your venue, please give me a call on 07 3224 0353. 

Article written by Matthew Bradford (Partner) and Glen Rolley (Associate).

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."