'Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!' - the Law on incentive prize draws

Are you looking to entice more people to participate in your survey, research study, event or new initiative by offering them a chance to win a prize?

If the prize will be drawn randomly (rather than being awarded on skill or merit), this will constitute a lottery and will be subject to legal requirements.

A lottery is any competition involving the award of a prize to be determined by a draw where:

  1. entry into the draw depends on the participant providing or doing something of value to the University; and
  2. the selection of the prizewinner involves some element of chance”

Do you need a licence for this?

In South Australia, any lottery is unlawful as a common nuisance unless it is exempted or licensed under the Lottery and Gaming Act.

The good news is that your incentive prize draw will be exempted as a minor trade promotion lottery if it meets the following criteria:

  • the prize draw is offered for the purpose of promoting the University or University activities
  • it is free to enter (or free if goods or services are purchased)
  • prizes do not include prohibited goods or services (tobacco, weapons, cosmetic surgery)
  • total retail value of the prizes is <$5000

However, if your lottery does not satisfy all the above criteria, you will likely require a licence.

Other requirements

Although a licence is not required for a minor trade promotion lottery, there are other regulatory requirements that must be met. These include:

  • all advertisements must contain the University name and address; terms and conditions of entry; details about the prizes and prize draw;
  • winners must be determined by random draw, and not using an electronic system
  • a list of the drawn prizes and winners must be displayed in a prominent place (e.g. a University webpage or noticeboard)
  • records of the lottery must be retained for 3 months following the prize draw


A complete checklist is available on the Legal and Risk Branch. Further information on lotteries is available on the Consumer and Business Services website.

If you will be collecting personal information from the participants, please ensure it is in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy and Privacy Management Plan.

If you would like assistance with drafting the terms and conditions of entry, please contact the Legal and Risk Branch via helpdesklegal@adelaide.edu.au.

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