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Game on! Quebec overhauls legislative and regulatory framework for publicity contests

Authored byStéphanie Girard and Denise Felsztyna

This fall, on October 27, 2023, the Quebec National Assembly passed the An Act to Amend Various Provisions for the Main Purpose of Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden. With this Act, the Quebec government aims, among other things, to modernize the legislative and regulatory framework applicable to publicity contests in Quebec. More specifically, since October 27, 2023, the formalities and obligations previously governing publicity contests in Quebec were abolished, such that publicity contests are no longer subject to burdensome additional steps or oversight by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (the “Régie”).


Prior to October 27, 2023, all publicity contests addressed exclusively to participants in Quebec or Canada (including participants in Quebec) and which offered prizes whose value totalled over $100, were subject to the provisions of the Act Respecting Lotteries, Publicity Contests and Amusement Machines (the “Act”) and of the Rules Governing Publicity Contests (the “Rules”). International publicity contests (since June 2, 2021) and talent contests were not subject to the Act and Rules.

The Act and the Rules set out various obligations and formalities to be complied with by organizers of publicity contests targeting Quebec. The Régie’s mandate included monitoring compliance with these obligations and formalities.

Organizers of publicity contests targeting Quebec had to comply with obligations and formalities such as:

  • Producing a declaration before the Régie of the publicity contest via a notice;
  • Paying applicable fees where the value of the prizes offered totalled over $2,000, which were determined based on the specific value of the prize, the claim and of the rules of the contest in question;
  • Payment of security deposits to the Régie in applicable cases;
  • Sharing information with the Régie such as the list of winners, and where applicable, all information regarding the cancellation of the contest; and
  • Producing a report to the Régie within the 60 days following the date on which a winner is named, where the value of the prizes offered totalled over $2,000.

Reducing the burden on companies and advertisers

Due to the burdensome formalities of the Act and Rules particular to the province of Quebec, certain companies and advertisers preferred not to offer publicity contests in Quebec and chose to exclude residents of the province from their publicity contests in order to avoid having to comply, as well as having to be subject to oversight by the Régie. As mentioned, on October 27, 2023, the Act and Rules were abolished, such that these obligations and formalities are no longer applicable. However, any publicity contests declared prior to October 27, 2023, will remain subject to the Act and Rules, and to oversight from the Régie, regardless of when the contests are actually held.

It is important to highlight that, despite these changes to the Quebec legislative and regulatory framework on publicity contests in Quebec, these are still subject to the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Charter of the French Language.

For all questions or information requests regarding publicity contests in Quebec or elsewhere in Canada, please contact a member of our firm’s Marketing and Advertising group.

The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property and technology law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly.