We hear it every day – “Why is Quebec excluded”, “Another contest I’m not allowed to enter”, “But Quebec is part of Canada, why can’t I enter”.
For anyone who doesn’t know why so many contests have that pesky stipulation “Excludes residents of Quebec” – I’m here to break it down for you!
The Quebec Government – more specifically the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, has a huge list of Do’s & Don’ts that a company must abided by in order to allow Residents of Quebec to participate in any publicity contest.
To start with, before a contest can even be launched the Regie must first be presented with a mountain of detailed paperwork describing the rules & regulations of the contest. Then the Regie must approve all details regarding publicity of the contest, the wording of who can win prizes and how you win and so on. As a minimum the rules must include:
·The conditions for entering the contest
·The places where the public must deposit or send the contest entry forms
·The deadline for entering the contest
·A description of the method of awarding the prizes
·The place, date and time the prizewinner will be named
·The media used to inform the winners of the prizes won
·The place, date and deadline for claiming prizes, or where applicable, whether the prizes will be delivered to the winner
·The information about how a jury will select the winners
·The nature of the skill-testing requirement that a winner has to satisfy in order to claim his prize
In addition to this, companies are required to pay up to 13.5% of the total value of the prizes in the contest to the Regie as a “fee” for allowing the contest to be run there. In some cases, they may also require a “security” deposit that will be held until all winners in Quebec have received their prizes or until the Regie is notified that there are no winners in Quebec.
A person for whom a publicity contest is carried on shall furnish security to the board where:
1)He has a head office or place of business in Quebec declared in accordance with the laws of Quebec
2)He has not been convicted of an offence against the Act or these Rules in that year precede the date of the launching of the publicity contest
3)That the value of a prize offered to Quebec residents is more than $ 100
With all of these guidelines and fees and monetary expenses that must incurred by the company providing the contest, is it really any wonder why they just avoid it all together?
It’s unfortunate but true. I’m sure when these rules were first implemented it was with all good intentions to protect the residents of Quebec but now it just seems to isolate them even further.
It is in our humble opinion that the Regie should amend this regulation and allow contests to be offered to Quebecers. It is archaic and just plain unfair! As part of Canada, you should be able to participate in all things Canadian – including contests!
However, until such a time arises – I hope this article can help explain why you are being excluded.