Browse topics

  • Governing law
    Name Law or Code?

    The Civil and Commercial Code of the Argentine Republic ('CC Code')

    Code

    The Commercial Loyalty Law (Law number 22,802 as amended)

    Law

    Customers' Protection Law (Law number 24,240 as amended)

    Law

    Personal Data Protection Law (Law number 25,326 as amended)

    Law
    Decree 961/2017 and Resolution 915/2017 (of the Secretariat of Commerce modified the regulations of the conditions for those who organizse or promote contests, draws and sweepstakes with the aim of simplifying certain formalities)

    Law

    Note: Prize promotions regulations in Argentina are the responsibility of each province. Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces (provincias) and one autonomous city, the City of Buenos Aires.  Even though the provinces and the City of Buenos Aires exist under a federal system, they have their own constitutions, and local regulations. Organisers/sponsors must be aware of the applicable legislation for the provinces included within the territory.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Extra-territoriality

    Yes. Even when a chance-based game or skill-based contest is solely online and no promotion takes place in Argentina, if it is open to Argentinean residents, it will be subject to the laws of our countrArgentinay. As a consequence, national regulators might enforce rules against organiszers/companies operating abroad.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, but ensure that:

    • The purchase of a product or service is not a requirement in order to be able to participate in the promotion; the elements required to enable a person to participate should be made available for free to anybody willing to participate;

    • No element of chance should be used to determine the winner of the promotion;

    • The Rules are available in Spanish; and

    • You disclose information regarding prizes, territorial scope and participation requirements.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Prize draws

    Yes, but ensure that the purchase of a product or service is not a requirement in order to be able to participate in the promotion. The elements needed to enable a person to participate must be made available for free to anybody willing to participate.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Selection of winners

    The terms and conditions of the promotion must be made available to the public and the process through which the winners shall be determined needs to be clearly established, including dates and place where the process will take place. It is suggested that the process be supervised by a Notary Public.

    If the awards are to be determined by chance, the mathematic adjudication used to determine the winner needs to be provided; if this is not possible, an approximate estimation of it needs to be provided.

    The names of the winners shall be published within ten (10) days, counted from the end of the promotion, by the same media used to promote the contest/promotion.

    The terms and conditions should indicate date and place where the prizes will be delivered.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Judges

    There are no legal requirements in relation to judges and judging in skill competitions. However, the judging criteria should be clearly stated within the Rules and it´s advisable to include the list of judges.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Prizes

    Prizes awarded must be as described in their marketing communications, or reasonably equivalent to the description.

    No forbidden and/or illegal goods should be awarded as prizes.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Note that in February 2018, the government of Argentina dissolved the National Lottery (LNSE). As a result, at least for now, Argentina no longer requires sweepstakes and contests to be registered. Prior to the dissolution, only promotions/contests in which the winners were totally or partially determined by chance – involving prizes greater than  6,666 Pesos (approx. US$148) – needed to be registered with LNSE and had to meet all the applicable requirements.

    With regard to skill-based contests, they do not require registration. However, the Official Rules must conform to local law. When a prize is awarded to a winner selected by chance a 31% special tax is levied. If the prize is cash, the entity awarding it must withhold and pay for the tax. If the prizes are goods the beneficiary must provide the entity awarding the prize the amount of money requested to pay for the special tax. Specific provincial taxes may apply in different jurisdictions.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Other local requirements

    Promoters must provide certain and detailed information in relation to the prize promotion, including the essential characteristics of the prizes offered, and any other relevant terms.

    Conditions expressed in advertisements, brochures, circular letters or any other media are considered to be included in the contract concluded with the consumer, as binding terms.

    In such respect, Organiszers must comply with the requirements as established by Decree 961/2017 and Resolution 915/2017 of the Secretariat of Commerce.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Timing

    For chance-based promotions, time is required to request the permit from the Provinces that regulate contests/promotions at a local level. Time and costs involved may vary depending on the Province.

    Note that Provinces regulating promotions/sweepstakes at a local level can be excluded in order to avoid compliance with local regulations.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Translations

    Yes, the terms and conditions must be provided in Spanish.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    According to the Commercial Loyalty Law, the penalties for non-compliance are the following:

    • Fines from AR$500 (approximately US$11) to AR$ 5,000,000 (approx. US$111.000);

    • Suspension for up to 5 years from the providers registries that allow promoters to conclude contracts with the State;

    • Loss of concessions, tax or special credit benefits;

    • Closure of the facility for up to 30 days.

    According to the severity of the breach, and if it is convenient, publication of a notice of the penalty in the same media may occur.

    In case of fraud, criminal actions may be initiated.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    Due to the recent dissolution of the National Lottery there are only a few restrictions on prize promotions in Argentine national regulations. However, as previously mentioned, some provinces like Mendoza, Córdoba, Salta, Neuquén and Tierra del Fuego have their own local regulations. In addition, forbidden acts under the Competence Defense Law must be avoided. Advertisements that contain false indications, lead or could lead to mistake and/or are abusive, discriminatory, or lead the consumer to behave in a dangerous or harmful way, must be avoided as well.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Regularity of sanctions

    Fines and prison sentences are rarely imposed.

    Generally, in cases of breach, a complaint is submitted to the Consumer's Defense Office, where a monetary sanction can be applied to the non-compliant entity, and it can also be requested that the misleading advertisement be deleted.

    Last modified 8 Jan 2019

  • Key contacts
    Ignacio J. Randle
    Ignacio J. Randle
    Partner Estudio Randle [email protected] T +54 11 5252 0700
    Alejandro M. Massot
    Alejandro M. Massot
    Partner Estudio Randle [email protected] T +54 11 5252 0700

Extra-territoriality

Do national regulators enforce rules against entities operating abroad?

Argentina

Argentina

Yes. Even when a chance-based game or skill-based contest is solely online and no promotion takes place in Argentina, if it is open to Argentinean residents, it will be subject to the laws of our countrArgentinay. As a consequence, national regulators might enforce rules against organiszers/companies operating abroad.

Australia

Australia

The laws and codes apply where a prize promotion is advertised to, or entry is otherwise available to, persons located in the relevant state or territory, regardless of where the promoter is based.

Given the significant challenges in enforcing penalties against foreign entities, whether the laws and codes are likely to be enforced by the regulators against a foreign promoter is likely to turn on the structure of the promoter, whether the promoter operates in a highly scrutinized industry and the severity of the non-compliance and penalty. Breaches of the laws and code are more likely to be enforced where the foreign promoter has Australian operations or assets, the promoter is in a highly regulated industry (e.g. utilities, financial services or airline), where it is perceived that a multi-national has operated a promotion out of its offshore operations to avoid enforcement of local requirements or where the nature of the infringement is particularly objectionable (e.g. fraud or flagrant repeat non-compliance).

Please note that a foreign entity must have an ABN (Australian Business Number) in order to obtain a permit in NSW and the prize must be drawn in Australia. In the ACT, the foreign entity must also have an address in Australia. Additionally, for those states and territories that require entities to obtain a permit, their terms and conditions will be subject to the discretion of the relevant regulatory body.

Austria

Austria

Yes, the courts will apply and enforce domestic provisions in relation to prize promotions, which are published on foreign media, but directed at the domestic public, especially if published on the internet.

As concerns data protection issues, the GDPR applies also to entities not established in the EU if they offer goods or services to data subjects in the EU or monitor their behaviour.

Belgium

Belgium

Yes, this is possible as the respective rules are criminally sanctioned. However, as a general observation, the enforcement risk against foreign operators seems rather low.

An exception to that last statement should be made for prize promotions which fall under the ambit of 'games of chance' (poker games, casino games, etc), which are heavily regulated and enforced by the Belgian Gaming Commission, including through actions against operators established abroad.

Brazil

Brazil

Yes. The Brazilian laws/rules are considered to apply to prize promotions in Brazil, including promotions operated purely online.

Prize promotions in Brazil require prior approval from the Ministry of Treasury, through its internal department named Secretariat for Fiscal, Energy and Lottery Accompaniment ("SEFEL").

Although the laws are silent regarding prize promotions organized by entities operated abroad, the First General Regulation on Promotions set forth that promoter entities must perform commercial, industrial, service and/ or real estate activities, as well as being in compliance with all tax payment and social security obligations. For that purpose, prize promotions can only be organized by companies duly registered in Brazil with a valid Corporate Taxpayer Identification Number (CNPJ/MF), which means that foreign companies must run prize promotions through their Brazilian subsidiary or in partnership with a Brazilian company that is in compliance with said requirements.

The only exceptions to the requirement for approval occurs in case of exclusively cultural promotions, in which no marketing purpose is involved, and prize promotions organized by public entities.

The distribution of the prize may be based on three different formats of prize promotions: Prize Draws (Sorteio), Coupons (Vale-Brinde) or Contests (Concurso).

Finally, with respect to language, the law is very protective towards consumers, and it is necessary to offer all information and content in Portuguese.

Canada

Canada

Regulators can attempt to enforce the laws against foreign entities, although there are few published examples of such enforcement activities.

The province of Québec, in particular, has specific rules dealing with foreign entities and, for example, requires foreign entities to pay a bond if the value of the prizes exceeds certain thresholds.

Chile

Chile

There are neither specific rules nor jurisprudence in regard to these matters. However, according to the Chilean Law on the protection of consumer rights, if the promotion targets Chilean consumers, but is promoted from outside Chile (for example a non-Chilean website or direct marketing from outside Chile), the promoter must inform the consumers:

  • The terms and conditions for the promotion;

  • The amount or number of prizes; and

  • The period in which the prizes can be claimed.

Also the promoter should publish (as on the contest website) the results of the contests, competitions or raffles. The National Consumer Service (SERNAC) in turn requires that the terms and rules of contests or competitions must specify the following:

  • Description of the prize;

  • Number of prizes;

  • The way to participate in the contest;

  • How to collect the prize.

SERNAC and the Superintendence of Casinos (SCJ) do not have sanctioning powers, but they will do what they can to take action; however, this is limited and they are unlikely to prioritise such cases.

China

China

In relation to prize promotions which are operated purely online and outside China, Chinese regulators, such as the Ministry of Finance, The State Administration for Industry and Commerce, State Administration of Taxation, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Public Security and National Development and Reform Commission etc. normally do not consider Chinese laws/rules to be applicable to such promotions, and in practice, generally do not enforce those rules on such promotions.

If the promotion targets Chinese consumers, but is promoted from a non-Chinese website or through direct marketing from outside China, the regulators will do what they can to take action, but in current practice enforcement is very much limited to actions against illegal lotteries, mainly by blocking the offending foreign websites. So far, there have not been any actual cases of other enforcements against offshore operators which have no physical nexus with, or presence in China.

Colombia

Colombia

The rules only apply to companies that operate within the Colombian territory. If the games are considered to be games of chance, they must have a prior authorization from Coljuegos (the authority in charge of administering and regulating these matters).

Regulations in relation to gambling activities do not apply to prize promotions conducted by companies from abroad with no base in Colombia, nor prize promotions from games of skill and dexterity. Nonetheless, various other laws such as the consumer protection law or data privacy law or intellectual property, in some cases, may apply to prize promotions conducted from abroad in which the customers are located within Colombia.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Czech regulators do not enforce rules against entities operating abroad, unless such entities focus on Czech customers in their activities or otherwise conduct their activities in the territory of the Czech Republic.

Denmark

Denmark

The Danish Gambling Act generally applies to all games that are offered or arranged in Denmark. However, games that are solely based on skills are not governed by the Act.

Online games are offered in Denmark if the game provider receives stakes (i.e. payment) from persons in Denmark. This means that a game provider must comply with the Danish Gambling Act even if the game provider is not situated in Denmark as long as the game provider receives stakes from persons in Denmark.

According to the Danish Gambling Act games that involve payment of stakes require a license from the Danish Gambling Authority, unless specifically exempt.

Note: Providing gambling services without a Danish gambling license is illegal and may lead to criminal proceedings. 

If a prize promotion is linked to the purchase of certain goods or a service, the payment for that good or service is not considered a stake, if the value of the good or service equals the price paid for the good or service. However, if participation in a prize promotion requires payment of an extra amount besides what is already paid for the good or service, that amount is considered payment of a stake. Likewise, if the price of the good or service is higher than the usual price to finance a prize promotion.

The Danish Marketing Practices Act follows the so-called effect principle meaning that it applies to all prize promotions targeting the Danish market. The Danish Marketing Practices Act thus applies even if the promoter is not based in Denmark.

Finland

Finland

Finnish prize promotion regulation applies to promotions which are targeted at Finnish consumers.

One example of such targeting is where the language used in the prize promotion is Finnish. It should however be kept in mind that Swedish is also an official language of Finland.

Prize promotions held in other countries which are not targeted at Finnish consumers are not required to conform to the requirements of Finnish prize promotion regulation.

France

France

If the promotion targets French consumers, then French consumer and data protection laws apply.

In order to determine whether the promotion targets French consumers, the regulator may take into consideration factors such as the eligibility criteria, advertising in local media, language, etc.

Germany

Germany

The German Agency to combat Unfair Competition (Wettbewerbszentrale) has capacity to bring civil proceedings if the prize promotion is governed by the UWG:

  • The UWG always applies if the prize promotion targets the German market place. That means, German Law is applicable, even if the promoter is based in another country. It is not applicable if the promoter addresses only foreign consumers.

  • In cases of online prize promotions it might be relevant if the prize promotion has worldwide scope, or is limited to particular market places, eg by using disclaimers on the website or a specific language (not sufficient in case of English language).

  • Moreover, as a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC), the Wettbewerbszentrale cooperates with foreign authorities in cross-border complaints.

Telemedia and broadcasting rules are enforced on the basis of the country-of-origin principle, meaning German regulations will not be enforced if the country-of-origin of the respective medium is not Germany.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Anyone who wishes to conduct a trade promotion with prizes in Hong Kong, which falls within the ambit of "lottery" and/or "gaming" as defined under the Gambling Ordinance, is required to obtain a license from the Office of the Licensing Authority, Home Affairs Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the 'Licensing Authority').

'Lottery' as defined under the Gambling Ordinance includes, inter alia, raffles, sweepstakes, certain specific local Chinese gambling sports,  any competition involving guessing or estimating results that does not depend to a substantial degree on skill of competitors which distributes or allots prizes by lot or chance, and any game, method, device or scheme for distributing or allotting prizes by lot or chance.

'Gaming' as defined means "playing of or at any game for winnings in money or other property whether or not any person playing the game is at risk of losing any money or other property".  

According to the internal guideline of the Licensing Authority, if such promotion with prizes involves purely a game of chance, a Trade Promotions License is required. On the other hand, if such promotion with prizes involves a game of chance and skill combined, an Amusements With Prizes License is required. In this regard, the title of the two licenses is rather misleading since the applicant will have to ascertain the nature of the game involved, as opposed to the purpose of the game, when deciding for which one of the two licenses they should apply.  

The above position applies as long as a Hong Kong resident (whether permanent or non-permanent resident) is able to enter such promotion. As such, if a Hong Kong resident is able to enter a promotion with "Lottery" and/or "Gaming" involved and such promotion is operated purely online and outside of Hong Kong, one of the two licenses is required to be obtained, depending on whether an element of skill is present. In practice, it may be difficult to enforce the rules in these circumstances, but the relevant authorities in Hong Kong will begin investigations upon receiving a complaint.

For the Trade Promotions License, an overseas applicant with no branch in Hong Kong should appoint and authorize an agent whose business is registered in Hong Kong to be the applicant. Details of the applicant company are required to be stated in the application form and the license will be issued to that company.

For the Amusements With Prizes License, it is a prerequisite to obtain a valid Places of Public Entertainment License granted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department under the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance (Cap. 172).

The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance does not explicitly have extra-territorial effect, i.e. it governs activities of data users who control the collection, holding, processing or use of personal data in or from Hong Kong.

The Trade Descriptions Ordinance applies if, at the time of engaging in the commercial practice, the trader is in Hong Kong or if Hong Kong is the trader's usual place of business.

Hungary

Hungary

Yes, but only if the services are considered as gambling services under the Gambling Act. The Gambling Supervisory Authority ('GSA') exercises its regulatory powers if (i) the gambling services covered by the Gambling Act are operated from the territory of Hungary, or (ii) the customer participates in such games in the territory of Hungary, or (iii) the service is aimed at customers living in the territory of Hungary, particularly when the service is made available in Hungarian, or if advertised in the territory of Hungary.  

Accordingly, any enforcement risk against foreign operators seems rather low in the case of prize promotions, even if the prize promotion is regulated by the Hungarian Gambling Act (see regulations on prize draw below). At the same time prize promotions which are considered as gambling (contest of chance) (e.g. poker games, casino games, etc), are heavily regulated and enforced by the Hungarian GSA, including through actions against operators established abroad.

The Hungarian Competition Authority and the Consumer Protection Authority may also enforce consumer protection rules against entities operating abroad if the breach in connection with the prize promotion affects consumers in Hungary.

India

India

The Key Prize Legislations do not have an extra-territorial application and prize promotions which are purely operated online and outside India do not fall within the jurisdiction of the relevant regulators of Key Prize Legislations in India.

However, if prize promotions are advertised to customers in India and a significant nexus is established in India, then regulators may enforce the relevant laws (including Key Prize Legislations) against the promoters of such prize promotions.

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Information Technology Act, 2000 have extraterritorial applicability and in the event that sponsors of prize promotions are held to be in violation of these laws, the regulator is empowered to prosecute for offences committed outside India. The Indian regulators also have the power to block foreign websites which violate Indian laws.

Ireland

Ireland

Ireland does not have a government appointed regulator for prize promotions.  The restrictions and offences under the Gaming and Lotteries Acts apply to lotteries (and therefore some prize draws) operated in Ireland, which would include a prize draw being promoted in Ireland, and offers of participation in a prize draw being made to Irish-based entrants. Lotteries which are promoted and conducted wholly outside of Ireland are excluded /exempt from the statutory prohibition on lotteries.

The ASAI Code does not apply in relation to prize promotions which are published in foreign media (eg in a US newspaper).

If the promotion targets Irish consumers, but is promoted from a non-Irish website or in direct marketing from outside Ireland, then:

  • If the promoter is based in a country which operates a cross-border complaint system that the ASAI considers suitable, the ASAI will leave it to the relevant authority in that other country. The ASAI is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and considers most EU countries to operate suitable systems.

  • If the promoter is not based in such a country, the ASAI will do what it can to take action, but in reality such action is likely to be limited and the ASAI is unlikely to prioritize such cases.
Italy

Italy

The DPR applies to prize promotions aimed at sponsoring the knowledge of the promoter's products and services within the Italian territory, both in the case of promotions directed to consumers and in the case of promotions addressed to other subjects (such as professionals, employees, retailers or mediators). Provided that a prize promotion is not addressed to Italy, national regulators would not enforce the DPR against entities operating abroad. However, the assessment on whether a promotion can be considered to be addressed to Italy shall be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Should the prize promotion be addressed to Italy, there are two different scenarios:

  • If the company is established outside of Italy in one of the EU Member States, the laws of that State shall apply instead of the DPR and the Circular and companies should comply only with Italian general consumer law (e.g. the Consumers Code and the Legislative Decree no. 70 of 9 April 2003 and subsequent amendments, on e-commerce); while

  • If a company is established in a non-EU Country, the DPR and the Circular shall apply. In this scenario, the promoter established outside of the Italian territory can run a prize promotion, but would be required by law to appoint a fiscal representative in Italy or ask for a direct identification VAT number from the Italian Tax Authority (subject to certain conditions provided by the applicable fiscal laws) in order to comply with all the formalities as per the DPR. In such case, national regulators would be entitled to enforce the rules against the foreign promoter through the representative located in Italy.
Japan

Japan

The AAUPMR does not apply in relation to prize promotions which are published in foreign media (eg in a US newspaper) and target non-Japanese consumers.

If the promotion is operated outside of Japan but targets Japanese consumers, for example by promoting through a Japanese language website or specifying that Japanese consumers are eligible for the prize promotion, the AAUPMR will likely apply; as long as the prize is offered as a means of encouraging Japanese consumers to purchase goods or services supplied by the promoter or any other business.

However, the powers of the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), a relevant authority of the AAUPMR, enables it to enforce the AAUPM against offshore promoters. However, such cases are likely to be limited and are not usually prioritized by the CCA.

The restrictions on gambling and lotteries under the Penal Code will not apply to offshore promoters.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Yes, as the respective rules are criminally sanctioned. However, there seem to be quite low levels of enforcement  relating to simple prize promotions (free lotteries, raffles etc.).

Actual 'games of chance' (such as casino games) are heavily regulated and the regulation is enforced in Luxembourg, including through actions against operators established abroad.

It is uncertain whether such conditions remain applicable given the current status of the law (see Governing law). A number of operators on the Luxembourg market nonetheless continue to apply the principles of the previously applicable law as good practice.

Mexico

Mexico

The Consumer Law is the main body of legislation that regulates prize promotions. However, it only applies for operations within Mexico.

Pursuant to s. III; Art. 12 of the Gaming and Lotteries Law, Mexican entities or individuals located in Mexico, should not participate in the sale or distribution of lottery tickets (ie prize draws) or gambling that takes place abroad without the required authorization from the Ministry of Interior. Failure to obtain such authorization may carry a fine between MXN$ 500 (approx. US$26) to MXN$ 10,000 (approx. US$522) and imprisonment between 3 months to 3 years.

Netherlands

Netherlands

The Code of Conduct can be seen as an exception to the Games of Chance Act. As a general rule, games of chance are prohibited in the Netherlands and prize promotions are allowed only when certain criteria have been met.. If the criteria have not been met, the Dutch regulator enforces rules, including against entities operating abroad where such entities target the Dutch market. Relevant factors for assessing whether or not the Dutch market is targeted are: using a .nl website, use of Dutch language and the use of specific Dutch payment systems (e.g. iDeal).

In addition, if the prize promotion violates the Advertising Code for Games of Chance, the Advertising Code Committee (ACC) may ask for assistance from other advertising committees abroad to act against the infringer (the ACC is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and considers most EU countries to operate suitable systems).

Finally, in instances where privacy/direct marketing rules are violated, it is unlikely that the applicable regulators will start legal action against foreign entities based outside of The Netherlands.

New Zealand

New Zealand

If any element of gambling is organized or conducted in or from New Zealand, it must comply with the Gambling Act.

The Gambling Act bans the advertisement or promotion in New Zealand of an overseas-based gambling activity (including prize promotions which meet the definition of gambling).

Otherwise, it is not illegal for someone in New Zealand to participate in gambling over the internet if that website is not in New Zealand.

Nigeria

Nigeria

National laws and regulations are enforceable against all persons, whether corporate or natural, firm, agency, company or any other corporate entity registered as advertising practitioners, including all persons that engage in advertising practice for gain and all organisations, corporate bodies and individuals who use advertising services, whether of indigenous or foreign origin, in so far as they offer advertising services directed at the Nigerian advertising market or are sponsored by a company doing business in Nigeria.

Norway

Norway

Where online lotteries/gambling services are marketed by unlicensed operators to Norwegians then the Norwegian law will apply.

The MCA applies to marketing that is directed towards Norwegian consumers or companies. This is based on a holistic evaluation, but indicators of direct marketing would be advertising in Norwegian language, use of Norwegian currency, and to what extent the company is willing to enter into contracts with Norwegians. The MCA also applies to acts and terms and conditions that take effect abroad, as long as they are also unlawful pursuant to the legislation of the country in which they take effect.

In Norway only two state-owned companies are licensed to provide gambling and sports betting, where a prize is won after providing a stake (i.e. payment). Foreign companies may not offer or market unlicensed betting operators in Norway. It is not however illegal for Norwegians to play on these services, it is only the foreign company that is liable. Foreign companies are legally circumventing these restrictions by advertising to Norwegians on foreign TV channels where they comply with local laws, advertising through bloggers/celebrities, and foreign websites. The lottery authority has since  2016  enforced the laws more strictly against marketing carried out in Norway by for example bloggers or sports personalities. Furthermore, the lottery authority has since summer 2018 approached Apple to demand that they remove gambling apps from the Norwegian app stores, as the inclusion of gambling apps was considered to constitute facilitation of illegal gambling in Norway.

The Payment Services Regulation prevents third parties such as banks or third party payment service providers from allowing Norwegian citizens to pay for or receive profits from unlicensed gambling through their payment services. The Lottery Authority has become stricter in its enforcement of the Payment Services Regulation.

The Lottery Authority and the Norwegian government have raised concern over whether "loot boxes" which are common in online games are to be regulated as a form of gambling, and potentially banned. Such ban would likely have an effect on those offering both app games and console games to the Norwegian market. The government has received reports on loot boxes which they are evaluating to see if there is a need for regulation.

Politicians in the Norwegian parliament have discussed over many years whether Norway should move away from a state controlled gambling monopoly and use a license model instead, like Denmark and Sweden. The government has requested several reports which are evaluating whether changes should be made to the system and related laws, and an updated draft gambling act is expected in autumn 2019.

Companies can provide and market lotteries (for example raffles and bingo) for a stake where profits are going to a humanitarian or social cause, but only where they have obtained a license to do so.

Poland

Poland

Under Polish law, regulation of prize promotions is very limited. The Polish Civil Code states only that a person that has promised a reward for the performance of a particular act by a public announcement to an unspecified number of people is obliged to keep the promise. There are no other specific legal regulations regarding prize promotions (unless the promotion is considered to be a lottery or other game set forth in the Gambling Act in which case additional obligations apply).

However, consumer law and data protection law should be taken into consideration. Moreover, if the prize promotion is operated online, the Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means should also be also taken into consideration.

In relation to prize promotions which are operated online and outside the Polish jurisdiction, the Polish Act on Rendering Services by Electronic Means should not generally apply. According to the relevant provision of this regulation, the provision of electronic services is subject to the law of the member state of the European Union in which the service provider is a resident. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule: for example, irrespective of the location of the service providers, when a prize promotion is directed to Polish consumers, then the Polish consumer law determined in separate legal acts applies. Therefore, the terms and conditions of the prize promotion must be in line with the Polish Act on Consumer Rights and the Polish Civil Code's provisions regarding business to consumer relations.

Furthermore, the GDPR applies to the terms and conditions of the prize promotion if the data controller of the participants' data is an entity located in the EU. The entities based outside the EU will also be obliged to comply with the the GDPR if the processing activities relate to the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EU.

Portugal

Portugal

Yes, if the prize promotion is addressed to Portuguese consumers and/or is opened to participation in or from Portugal. There are several elements which may indicate that a prize promotion is addressed to Portuguese consumers (e.g. terms and conditions in Portuguese language, online prize promotion made available on a website under a domain name .pt (or even if on an international domain name, but the website is written in Portuguese), advertising in Portugal or in channels addressed to Portugal, etc).

In any case, if the prize promotion is opened to participants from Portugal, it is likely that Regulators apply/enforce rules against entities operating abroad.

Romania

Romania

GO 99/2000 applies to all commercial activities and services performed in Romania, irrespective of whether the organizer is a foreign entity or not.

The GO 99/2000 does not provide a distinction between prize promotions operated by a Romanian entity on the Romanian territory and prize promotions operated purely online outside of Romania, whether targeting Romanian consumers or simply allowing them to participate.

However, should Art. 6 of Rome 1 EU Regulation providing for the law governing contracts concluded between a consumer and a professional become applicable, Romanian consumers are protected by provisions included in national legislation which cannot be overwritten by the provisions of the promotion rules.

Russia

Russia

The Code and Law do not contain specific rules on prize promotions offered abroad. As a general rule, promotions offered to Russian parties from abroad will be subject to the same treatment as those offered in Russia (in part of any mandatory Russian rules constituting 'public order'). Theoretically, the only sanction which can be applied to foreign prize promotions, run online and violating Russian 'public order', is the blocking of the website through which the violating promotion is run. In practice, we have not heard of practical precedents of such enforcement.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

The ACFR does not expressly distinguish between prize promotions operated outside or within Saudi Arabia. This will depend upon the specific circumstances of the promotion/competition, the nexus with persons resident in Saudi Arabia and whether any activities can be deemed to be being executed in Saudi Arabia.

Singapore

Singapore

Yes. Even if they operate purely online and outside Singapore, entities conducting prize promotions with a Singapore-customer link and which qualify as a 'remote gambling service' must comply with the provisions of the RGA.

For the purposes of the RGA, a remote gambling service has a Singapore-customer link if any of the customers are physically present in Singapore.

'Remote gambling service' under the RGA is defined broadly to cover services including the following:

  • Conducting a public lottery;

  • Supply of any public lottery tickets;

  • Negotiating, placing, making, receiving or accepting of bets; or

  • A game of chance where the game is played for money or money's worth (as defined below), and a customer of the service agrees to give money or money's worth (as defined below) to play or enter the game.

where such services are provided via the use of remote communication, such as the internet, telephone, television, radio or any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication.

For the purposes of the RGA, 'public lottery' means any game, method, device, scheme or competition whereby money or money’s worth (as defined below) is distributed or allotted in any manner depending upon or to be determined by chance or lot, and to which the public have access or may have access to (regardless of whether it is held, drawn, exercised or managed within or outside Singapore). Every lottery is treated as a public lottery until the contrary is proved, and a 'game of chance' includes a game that involves both an element of chance and an element of skill, or a game that is presented as involving an element of chance.

For the purposes of the RGA, 'money's worth' means anything recognized as equivalent to money and includes virtual credits, virtual coins, virtual tokens, virtual objects or any similar thing that is purchased within or as part of, or in relation to a game of chance.

Publishing a remote gambling advertisement and promoting remote gambling are also offences within the RGA. The provisions of the RGA are broadly drafted and the offence of advertising remote gambling includes the publishing of any writing or visual image that promotes a domain name or uniform resource locator (URL) relating to a particular remote gambling service. A person may be considered to have published a remote gambling service advertisement if the person includes the advertisement, or something that contains the advertisement, online or in any way that renders the advertisement accessible from the Internet.

Enforcement of the RGA works in two main ways. Firstly, the Singapore Police Force collaborate with its foreign counterparts to provide and share evidence of unlawful remote gambling activities, with a view to prosecuting the offenders. This includes the possibility of extradition to Singapore under applicable treaties and the arrest and possible subsequent imprisonment of the offenders if they are found guilty. Secondly, the Singapore Police Force will take into account any complaints or feedback received from the public. For more information on enforcement please refer to the section on Penalties.

Websites that provide unauthorized remote gambling services which are or may be used by individuals in Singapore to gamble, or contain a remote gambling service advertisement, will be blocked. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) can also block financial transactions or payments made in relation to participation in any unlawful remote gambling activity.

South Korea

South Korea

Article 2-2 of the FTL imposes extraterritorial jurisdiction for acts that occur overseas but have an effect on the Korean domestic market (i.e. Korean customers). The Korean Supreme Court has stated that the 'effect on the Korean market' must be limited to cases where there is a direct, considerable, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the Korean market. The Supreme Court added that such determination should be based on a comprehensive and case-by-case review of various factors, including the substance and intent of the conduct, the characteristics of the services or goods at issue, the transaction structure and how it affects the Korean market, etc.

Most discussions concerning the extraterritorial application of the FTL are in the context of cartel enforcement. While we are not aware of any specific precedent in the context of prize promotions, we believe it would be possible for prize promotions originating overseas, targeting Korean customers, to be subject to enforcement under the FTL and other applicable regulations.

Spain

Spain

Yes. LJU and NLOPD are explicitly drafted to prevent parties based abroad from failing to comply with Spanish regulations in this regard. Same applies to LPCU when the promotional competition is addressed towards Spain i.e. carried out physically in Spain or the addressee is a consumer based in Spain.

Sweden

Sweden

The rules of the Swedish Gambling Act apply in relation to prize promotions offered in Sweden or targeting the Swedish market. In contrast, prize promotions not offered in Sweden or actively targeting the Swedish market will fall outside the scope of the Swedish Gambling Act.

Whether the Swedish Marketing Act will be applicable to marketing targeting Swedish consumers, but operated from abroad, will depend on whether the prize promotion is advertised from an EU/EEA member state or from another country. If the website/services are operated from an EU/EEA member state, the Swedish Marketing Act will not apply and the national regulator will not take action against such promotions. Instead, the rules of marketing in such member states will apply to the marketing. In contrast, if the website/services are operated from another country, for example the United States of America, and targets Swedish consumers, the rules of the Swedish marketing law will apply.

Thailand

Thailand

If the prize promotion is arranged and/or advertised online through a website (or social media page), hosted/located outside Thailand, and there is no entity/affiliate running this campaign within Thailand, it is not subject to restrictions under Thai laws.

Turkey

Turkey

Yes, the rules for prize promotions also apply to prize promotions organized by foreign entities located outside Turkey but which target participants from within Turkey. In practice, the foreign entity organizer usually works alongside a local agency or business associate in Turkey to facilitate its application to the General Directorate of the National Lottery ("GDNL").

Ukraine

Ukraine

Based on complex interpretation of legislation related to prize promotions, Ukrainian legislation is applied and enforced with respect to prize promotions operated by non-resident legal entities, if:

  • The prize promotion is operated in the territory of Ukraine, and/or

  • The prize promotion, even if it is operated from abroad (via the Internet), is aimed at Ukrainian consumers
United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

The Dubai Commercial Guidebook rules on promotions which applies to a promotion that targets customers located in Dubai and is operated from a non-UAE website by an entity operating abroad.

We understand that it is sufficient that the promotion targets and addresses customers in Dubai for the rules to apply. However, we are not aware of instances where the authorities have actually enforced those rules against entities operating abroad.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The CAP Code does not apply in relation to prize promotions which are published in foreign media (e.g. in a US newspaper).

If the promotion targets UK consumers, but is promoted from a non-UK website or in direct marketing from outside the UK, then:

  • If the promoter is based in a country which operates a cross-border complaint system that the ASA considers suitable, the ASA will leave it to the relevant authority in that other country. The ASA is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and considers most EU countries to operate suitable systems.

  • If the promoter is not based in such a country, the ASA will do what it can to take action, but in reality such action is likely to be limited and the ASA is unlikely to prioritize such cases.

The BCAP Code only applies to promotions on TV services licensed by UK media regulator Ofcom.

United States

United States

Overall Summary

Generally speaking, state regulators will enforce regulations if the sweepstakes or contest promotion allows residents of that state to enter the promotion, even if entry is done purely online and there is no in-state advertising or promotion. Federal regulators will enforce regulations against any sweepstakes or contest promotion that involves interstate commerce (across state lines).