The Gaming and Lotteries Acts are quite onerous, as most prize promotions operated in Ireland would likely be found to be unlawful if investigated. However, in practice, the Gaming and Lotteries Acts are rarely enforced against businesses that run prize promotions in Ireland. Frequently, where a prize promotion involves the purchase of a product (thus not satisfying a free route to entry), promoters include an element of skill into the entry mechanism (such as a qualifying question) intended to reduce the risk of the prize promotion being considered an unlawful lottery. There is no guarantee that such efforts would be successful. However, as said above, the prohibition on unlawful lotteries is rarely enforced in practice.
The ASAI Code is self-regulating. When a complaint is received by the ASAI, the complaint is evaluated initially by the ASAI Executive. If the ASAI executive determines that the complaint falls within the ASAI Code and that there is a prima facie case for investigation, the advertiser/promoter is informed of the complaint and is invited to comment on the complaint, with reference to the ASAI Code, normally within 10 days. The ASAI Executive then investigates the complaint and produces a Recommendation to the ASAI Complaints Committee on whether the complaint should be upheld, which may include recommended courses of action. Details of a Complaint Committee’s decision may be published on the ASAI website, at the Complaint Committee’s discretion, containing details of the advertiser/promoter but excluding details about the consumer who made the complaint.
A marketing communication that contravenes the ASAI Code is required to be amended or withdrawn. The advertiser/promoter may also be required to recompense any consumers adversely affected by the contravening marketing communication.
Finally, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (eg. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).
Last modified 10 Jan 2019