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Time to open contests to Québec residents: Québec abolishes publicity contest rules

Québec recently made major revisions to its publicity contest rules. As of Oct. 27, 2023, it repealed both the provisions of the Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests, and amusement machines (Québec) that dealt with publicity contests, and the Rules respecting publicity contests.

These changes now free up contest sponsors who open their publicity contests to residents of Québec from the requirement to register their contests with the provincial contest regulator, known as the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (the Régie). They also do away with other requirements that were specific to contests open to Québec residents, namely:

  1. The obligation to pay a registration fee based on the prize value,
  2. The obligation to file contest rules and advertisements,
  3. The obligation to disclose prescribed information in the contest rules and advertisements,
  4. The obligation to furnish security (if applicable),
  5. The obligation to obtain the Régie’s approval prior to modifying the contest, as well as
  6. The obligation to provide a winners’ report.

These major changes come two years after Québec chose to eliminate the above registration and fee requirements for “international” contests.

It is important to note the Régie will continue to oversee contests that were registered before Oct.27, 2023, regardless of when the contests were launched and therefore contest sponsors must ensure compliance with the previously existing rules, including the filing of the winners’ report to confirm the attribution of the prizes, where applicable. It is also important to note that contest sponsors must still ensure compliance with applicable Federal contest requirements, notably those found in the Competition Act (Canada) and the Criminal Code (Canada).

If you have further questions regarding continuing obligations regarding contests, please reach out to any of the contacts listed below.

Key Contacts