The Office Footy Tipping Competition: Is it Legal?

by The FindLaw Team

The two dominant football codes in Australia, the NRL and AFL have just begun their new seasons, and for workers around Australia, that also means footy tipping competitions will be conducted in workplaces across the country. There’s always one, but quite possibly many, of your co-workers who are both football mad and love a flutter. Hey, how else are we going to relate to our fellow workers? With work? Don’t be ridiculous. However, have you ever stopped and thought about the legal parameters involved with conducting a football tipping competition? Did you know that there are guidelines that various authorities around the nation require when conducting such an exercise? Generally speaking, most Australians would be unaware that there are some legal obligations that are required for the administering of the workplace footy tipping competition, and that they potentially could be violating some laws along the way.

How much money is too much?

Perhaps the most important thing to remember that both NSW and Victoria, the value of the prizes must not exceed $5000 and that entry fees can be set at any amount, with games that are conducted by chance – such as the office sweeps during the Melbourne Cup – must have all the cash collected, returned as prize money. Furthermore, in NSW if the winning amount exceeds $2000, the organiser must provide a crossed cheque payable to the winner, or if the winner requests, to have the money transferred electronically to their bank account.

Additionally, not only prizes should not exceed $5000 in value, but tobacco, firearms, illegal weapons, the promise of cosmetic surgery, and prizes of liquor exceeding 20 litres are also prohibited under gaming laws. So, if your tipping competition involves one, or all of the aforementioned prizes, you better re-think your giveaway.

Notice requirements for the footy tipping competition

So, now that the prize requirements have been outlined, it would be useful to point out that there are notice requirements that must be followed as well:

  • the rules of the tipping competition
  • entry price to be paid by participants
  • information on the closing date and of receiving entries to enter the competition
  • when the tips have to be submitted in by
  • contact information of the organiser such as name, address, and contact number.

The rules of the competition should be clearly spelled out. So not only the fees associated with entering in the competition and prizes are publicised, but also how the winner is to be determined, the time and date of the release of the winner, how the winner will be notified, information on what protocols should be followed if there is more than one winner, and how resolutions to disputes will be handled.

Yes, the workplace footy tipping competition has become ubiquitous in Australian places of employment, and this piece isn’t meant to discourage organisers. The article is more to inform those of us who love footy tipping that there are some things that workers should be aware of because it is so easy to overlook that the humble footy tipping competition does have some legalities that need to be followed. Good luck to all you tipsters out there.



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