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C’est le fun!

Don’t Forget Quebec Changed its Publicity Contest Law

Hearing “O Canada” being proudly sung during the recent NHL playoffs reminded me to remind you that in June 2021, la province de québec somewhat quietly amended its publicity contest law in order to exempt international contests from its harsh requirements.

Et viola! If you are operating a game of chance or contest in both U.S. and Canada, you can now freely include our friends in Quebec without having to: (i) register in Quebec, (ii) translate to French, and (iii) include a provision in the rules that claims must be submitted to the Regie des alcools, des course et des jeux for a ruling.

For those of you who care about the technical details:

On December 11, 2020, the National Assembly of Quebec introduced Bill 82 “An Act respecting mainly the implementation of certain provisions of the Budget Speech of 10 March 2020.” This was assented to on June 2, 2021.

The Act amended a wide variety of legislative provisions including the Civil Code, Tax Administration Act, Health Insurance Act and 24 other laws, including the “Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests and amusement machines.”

With one phrase the future of Quebec contest law was forever changed. Specifically, Section 63 of the Act was amended to:

This chapter does not apply to a publicity contest in which the prizes are offered to a group of contestants including contestants from outside of Canada, even if the group also includes contestants from Québec, nor to a publicity contest carried on to promote the commercial interests of a regional periodical from outside Québec or a radio station or television station from outside Québec, even if that periodical is distributed in Québec or that station broadcasts into Québec.

Thus, international publicity contests are exempt from registration, etc., but Quebec may not consider a publicity contest international (and exempt from its requirements under the Act) if:

  • entry can be made only in Quebec (such as trade shows or stores), or
  • the “main part of the commercial interests” of the sponsor is carried on in Quebec, such as having its principal place of business or primary operations in Quebec.

Carry on.