"Only in Canberra" ... Dick Smith's giveaway has been banned by a local watchdog. Photo: Rebecca Hallas
Australian businessman Dick Smith will be popping into houses across the country to share his wealth and a cup of tea - Dick Smith-branded, of course - with Australians over the next six months.
But Canberrans will miss out on meeting the entrepreneur during his $20,000 giveaway because the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission doesn't approve of his ''promotion'' and the way ''it is currently being run''.
The premise of the cash giveaway, Mr Smith said, was: ''If I knock on your door and you have one of my Dick Smith branded products in your home, then I will give you $500 cash on the spot. I will also stay and have a cup of tea with you.''
It's all about supporting Australian farmers, he said.
Mr Smith had planned on visiting a few houses in the capital today while he was in town speaking at Parliament House about the importance of Australian farming.
But an email from the commission to Dick Smith Food's marketing and online manager, seen by The Canberra Times, reveals the competition is not allowed in the ACT.
''The winners of this promotion are being chosen at random and there is no way for us to regulate that this is being done in a fair and transparent manner or that all entrants have an equal chance of winning this lottery,'' the email from the commission read.
''You must provide a statement on the advertising that advises that ACT residents cannot participate in the lottery.''
Mr Smith has already given away thousands of dollars since Monday, when the giveaway started. He said the giveaway had been approved by all states in Australia and thought it was ''ridiculous'' it wasn't allowed in Canberra.
''The Canberra bureaucracy said there had to be an entry form,'' Mr Smith said.
''How can anyone stop me from giving $500 away if I'm that eccentric? Only in Canberra does this happen.''
A spokesman from the commission said yesterday applicants were required to submit the terms and conditions of their competitions. Applicants are not issued a permit if they don't meet legislative requirements and conditions.