As of October 27, 2023, Quebec has eliminated its unique regulatory system which previous applied to publicity contests[1] which were offered in Quebec. In this regard, Bill 17: An Act to amend various provisions for the main purpose of reducing regulatory and administrative burden repealed the provisions of the Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests and amusement machines (the “Act”), and annulled the Rules respecting publicity contests (the “Rules”).

Following this change, new publicity contests in Quebec no longer have to be declared to the Régie des alcools et des jeux du Québec (the “Regie”). More specifically, a person or corporation who wishes to organize a contest in Quebec no longer has to file with the Regie the prescribed form; pay duties to the Regie; file with the Regie the text of the rules of the publicity contest; furnish a security to the Regie in some cases; or file a report with the Regie after the end of the contest including the name of the winners and their address.[2] 

However, all publicity contests in Quebec which were declared before October 27, 2023, are still subject to the Act and Rules. Additionally, publicity contests in Quebec still need to comply with the Quebec Charter of the French Language.

It bears noting that the existing federal regulatory system for publicity contests (including prohibitions under the Criminal Code (Code) and the Competition Act), will also continue to apply to contests in Quebec. A contest will be offside the Criminal Code (Canada) where any goods, wares or merchandise are disposed of by any game of chance or any game of mixed chance and skill in which the contestant or competitor pays money or other valuable consideration. A contest will be offside the Competition Act where (a) adequate and fair disclosure is not made of the number and approximate value of the prizes, of the areas to which they relate and of any other fact that affects materially the chances of winning; (b) distribution of the prizes is unduly delayed; or (c) selection of participants or distribution of prizes is not made on the basis of skill or on a random basis.

If you have questions about contests, you can reach out to any member of Fasken’s Competition, Marketing & Foreign Investment group. Our group has significant experience advising clients on all aspects of Canadian competition law.

The information and guidance provided in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. If legal advice is required, please contact a member Fasken’s Competition, Marketing & Foreign Investment group.

[1] That being said, raffles (i.e. a 50/50 raffle, for example) and draws (buying a ticket in exchange for a chance to win a prize) are considered as lottery in Quebec and are still subject to Quebec lottery regulations.

[2] These requirements were previously mandatory depending on the value of the contest.