Sponsors of publicity contests no longer have to register their contests in Quebec and contend with the other requirements of Quebec’s contest legislation. As of October 27, 2023, the legislative provisions imposing these requirements have been repealed.
On that date, Bill 17: An Act to amend various provisions for the main purpose of reducing regulatory and administrative burden (Bill 17) received assent. Among other things, this Bill repealed provisions of the Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests and amusement machines (Act), and eliminated the Rules respecting publicity contests (Rules) in entirety, effective immediately. All references to publicity contests within the Act, including in its title, have been repealed.
The practical result is that the previous unique regulatory scheme that governed contests in Quebec has been abolished. Accordingly, the requirement to submit duties to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (Régie) for contests has been eliminated. Previously, companies running contests that were open to residents of Quebec were required to submit duties of up to 10% of the total value of the contest’s prizes. In addition, depending on the contest, the Act and Rules used to require various filing requirements, specific wording in contest rules, a winner’s report, and the inability to make changes to a contest without the approval of the Régie.
With the changes to the Act and the elimination of the Rules, contests open to Quebec residents will generally be subject to the same contest laws as the rest of Canada. In the past, it was not uncommon for companies to exclude Quebec residents from entering contests, and the latest changes may entice more companies to open up their contests to Quebec residents. Sponsors should still be mindful, however, of other Quebec law specificities, such as the requirement to comply with Quebec’s language legislation, the Charter of the French Language.
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