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

Prizes

Are there any restrictions on the prizes awarded?

Argentina

Argentina

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.

Australia

Australia

As a general rule, prizes awarded must be as described in their marketing communications, pursuant to Australian Consumer Law otherwise the business could be found guilty of deceptive and misleading conduct.

In general, if a prize involves travel, all relevant information must be included in the terms of entry (eg destination, class of travel, name of accommodation, duration etc).

Where participants are under the age of 18 years, an application must not include any unlawful or inappropriate prizes eg liquor products, tobacco products or dangerous goods, will not be approved.

The below list includes prohibited prizes in all States and Territories except for Tasmania (additional prohibitions specific to each state and territory are listed below).

Prohibited prizes:

  • Tobacco products in any form;

  • Firearms or ammunition;

  • Explosives;

  • Weapons;

  • Cosmetic surgery or other procedure designed to improve personal appearance;

  • Liquor prizes – more than 20 litres of liquor with an alcohol content not exceeding 20% by volume or more than 5 litres of liquor with an alcohol content exceeding 20% by volume; and

  • Any other item by which the sale or acquisition is restricted by legislation of the State or Commonwealth.

New South Wales

Where a lottery is being conducted on the premises of a hotel (excluding general bar licenses), registered club or a casino, it is a condition of a permit that cash prizes cannot be awarded between 10:00pm and 8:00am the next day.

If you propose a money prize greater than A$2,000 (approx. US$1,385), the prize winner must be paid the amount exceeding A$2,000 (approx. US$1,385) by a crossed cheque made out to the winner (or by EFT if the winner so requests). The full prize amount can be paid in this manner, if desired.

Queensland

Prohibited prizes: A ticket or other chance in a game that is not approved under a gaming act.

South Australia

Prohibited prizes: Liquor within the meaning of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 is prohibited from being offered as an inducement to enter or participate in the lottery. It is not prohibited for participants to purchase liquor to enter the lottery or to be given by the trader as a prize in the lottery.

Tasmania

Prohibited prizes: Nil.

Victoria

Prohibited prizes: Prostitution services.

Austria

Austria

The promotion must not invoke a psychological pressure to buy the promoted products or services, nor may it be aggressive.

A promotion is deemed aggressive if a false impression is given to the consumer that the prize has already been won, will be won, or will be won upon undertaking specified activities and:

  • There is no prize or benefit; or

  • The prize will be awarded only upon paying an amount or assuming costs.
Belgium

Belgium

Generally, none.

If a company organizes a lottery in collaboration with and through a not-for-profit organization that has been granted a license to organize lotteries (see Prize Draws section), the prize awarded may not, in general, consist of the payment of money.

Brazil

Brazil

Yes. The distribution of cash prizes and the conversion of prizes to cash is prohibited. Also, promoters may not distribute as prizes: medicines, weapons and ammunition, explosives, fireworks, tobacco and derivatives, alcoholic beverages above a certain alcoholic content.

Furthermore, prizes must not:

  • Be related to or encourage gambling;

  • Generate an immoderate profit for promoters;

  • Impact negatively on the education of a child or adolescent;

  • Involve coupons or any other thing that imitates or resembles the national currency.

General authorized prizes that are distributed in Brazil are:

  • Goods produced in Brazil or regularly imported;

  • Residential units, located in the country or in urban areas;

  • Tourism trips (encompassing the transport from the residence to the destination and from the destination to the residence of the winner, lodging and at least one meal);

  • Scholarships;

  • Tickets to concerts, parties and plays, along with a physical prize of any value.
Canada

Canada

There are no specific restrictions on prizes. However, the number of prizes and their approximate retail value must be disclosed clearly in all rules, advertisements, and point of purchase materials.

Chile

Chile

No, but as indicated before, the terms of competitions and sweepstakes should indicate the terms for claiming the prizes and a description of the prizes.

China

China

For any kind of lucky draw or prize promotion based on chance, the highest prize cannot exceed the value of ¥50,000 (approx. US$7,270), including but not limited to:

  • The right to use a commodity whose price exceeds ¥50,000 (approx. US$7,270), regardless of the period of time of such use right;

  •  Job opportunity which offers more than ¥50,000 (approx. US$7,270) salary or other interests, regardless of whether the winner has to fulfil any obligations; and

  • Social welfare lotteries and sports lotteries which offer any prize exceeding ¥50,000 (approx. US$7,270).
Colombia

Colombia

Prizes awarded must be described in a manner that is compliant with the general consumer protection law.

Money cannot be awarded as a prize unless the promotor is a financial institution. Prizes awarded by any other type of company or individuals must be either services, real estate, or any other kind of movable goods, except for securities.

For promotional games, the value of each prize from the award scheme cannot exceed 160 times the monthly minimum legal wage (approximately US $44,166 [See note 1]), and the prizes shall be delivered within 30 calendar days.

Note 1: For all the purposes of this section, a Colombian monthly minimum legal wage for 2019 is equal to COP $828.116 (approximately USD $276).
Denmark

Denmark

Certain prizes such as guns, explosives, dangerous chemicals and the like will most likely be considered contrary to good marketing practice.

The prize itself must also actually exist. It is considered a misleading commercial practice if a prize competition is held, but the prizes promoted or other reasonable equivalents are in fact not available.

Finland

Finland

Certain prizes are considered improper such as guns, explosives, dangerous chemicals and living animals.

Furthermore, the prize amount and the chances of winning the prize are important factors. Very high value prizes and very high probabilities for winning prizes may be regarded contrary to ordinarily accepted business practices. However, high value prizes as such are not considered improper.

The prize itself must also actually exist. It is strictly prohibited to market through prize promotions where in fact no prize is available.

France

France

The following cannot be awarded as prizes:

  • Weapons (article 5, July 12, 1985 Law).

  • Tobacco-related products (article L. 3512-4 of Public Health Code).

  • Anything contrary to public order or anything the distribution of which is prohibited or regulated (e.g. drugs).

The trademark owner may object to its trademarked goods being offered as prizes if the organizer is not an authorized reseller. It may also be considered unfair competition.

Germany

Germany

There are no particular restrictions on prizes awarded, however:

  • It must be legal to distribute the prize to the person who wins (e.g. no alcohol/ weapons/ tobacco products to minors); and

  • Where the prize promotion is directed at minors and requires the purchase of advertised products/services, then the value of the prize should be in the 'usual range' (e.g. a prize value of €5,000 (approx. US$5,600) for each of 100 main prizes is in the usual range according to German case law), in order not to exploit the lack of business experience of minors; otherwise this constitutes an unfair commercial practice pursuant to s.3 para. 2 UWG.
Hong Kong

Hong Kong

It is not permitted to award cash prizes as part of the promotion. However, businesses can award vouchers or gift cards as long as these cannot be redeemed for cash. If award vouchers, gift cards or credit card spending credit are awarded, the competition should not carry misleading titles, such as 'Great Chance to Win Cash' or '$10,000 Lucky Draw'. If it is not a joint promotion event, the prize sponsor's name may not be included in the title. All prizes must not contain any gambling, sex or violence elements.

Specifically for an Amusements With Prizes License, the value of the prize must not exceed HK$300 (approx. US$38).

Hungary

Hungary

As mentioned, a cash prize cannot be awarded in the case of prize draws. Other than that, there are no particular restrictions on prizes awarded; however, in general prizes must be lawful to distribute (e.g. products which cannot be advertised cannot be awarded either, e.g. weapons, tobacco products etc.).

India

India

The Prize Competition Act prohibits 'prize competition(s)' (i.e. crossword prize competitions, missing-word prize competitions or picture prize competitions, or any puzzle based upon the building up, arrangement, combination or permutation, of letters, words or figures) in which the total value of the prize, whether in cash or otherwise, offered in any month exceeds Rs 1,000 (approx. US$14) and the number of entries for such prize competition exceeds Rs 2,000 (approx. US$28).

Other than as mentioned above, there are no specific regulations in relation to prizes for competitions. However, for the sake of good practice, prizes awarded must be as described in their marketing communications, or reasonably equivalent to that description. Participants in instant-win promotions must get their winnings at once or must know immediately what they have won and how to claim without delay, unreasonable costs or administrative barriers.

Ireland

Ireland

Gaming and Lotteries Acts

For a lottery operated under permit, the total value of the prizes (or prize if there is only one prize) should not exceed €5,000 (approx. US$5,600). For a lottery operated under license the total value of the prizes (or prize if there is only one prize) on any occasion must not exceed €30,000 (approx. US$33,600) and if more than one lottery is held in any week, the value of the prizes for that week must not exceed €30,000 (approx. US$33,600).

ASAI Code

The ASAI Code includes the following requirements:

  • Entry conditions should set out a full and accurate description of the prizes.

  • Promoters should ensure that promotional products meet satisfactory standards of safety, durability and performance in use. Literature accompanying promotional items should contain any necessary safety warnings.

  • Phrases such as 'subject to availability' do not relieve promoters of the obligation to take all reasonable steps to avoid disappointing participants.

  • Whilst not a restriction on an awarded prize, one should note that, according to the ASAI Code, a promoter should state in the promotion terms whether a cash alternative can be substituted for any prize. Also, if promoters are unable to meet demand for a promotional offer because of an unexpectedly high response, or some other unanticipated factor outside their control, products of a similar type and similar or greater quality and value, or a cash payment, should normally be substituted.
Italy

Italy

A definition of prize can be inferred from the DPR, which states that prize can be goods, services, discounts, and shall have economic value. Cash prizes cannot be offered, but discounts and golden coins can be awarded.

With regard to prizes, the DPR also requires the promoter to clearly indicate to the participants in the skill competition / prize promotion the value of the prize.

Japan

Japan

The AAUPMR provides that when an award is provided by way of a contest, game, lottery or sweepstake and is related to the promotion of product sales ('buy this product, receive an entry into the sweepstake'), the maximum value of such an award may not exceed 20 times the Transaction Amount (as defined below), and in no case may exceed ¥100,000 (approx. US$913).

The total value of all awards provided may not exceed 2% of the total sales forecast of the product being promoted during the term of the game, contest, lottery, or sweepstake.

When the game, quiz or lottery is run jointly with other sellers in the same region, the maximum value of each award may be up to ¥300,000 (approx. US$2,740) regardless of the Transaction Amount, and the total value of awards given may not exceed 3% of the sellers' total sales prospects.

The AAUPMR also provides that when a reward is provided to all customers (for example, all customers who visit a store) and not by way of a contest, game, lottery or sweepstake, the maximum value of such a reward may not exceed 20% of the Transaction Amount (if the Transaction Amount is less than ¥1,000 (approx. US$9) , the value of premium must be ¥200 (approx. US$1.80) or less).

The interpretation of 'Transaction Amount' differs depending on the circumstances:

  • When the award provided to purchasers relates to the value of purchased product’s purchase price, the product purchase price is the Transaction Amount;

  • When the awards are provided to purchasers regardless of purchase price, the Transaction Amount is generally considered to be ¥100 (approx. US$1); and

  • When the awards are provided even if a product is not purchased but still in promotion of such purchase, such as a requirement for the individual to come to the store, the Transaction Amount will be considered to be ¥100 (approx. US$1) or the cost of the least expensive good in the store, whichever is greater.

Where there is no connection with promoting a particular transaction, a game, contest, lottery or quiz provided to the general public (for example, online or by newspaper or magazine) is an 'Open' prize competition. The distribution of prizes in 'Open' prize competitions is not regulated by the AAUPMR and so there is no maximum value on the prizes to be awarded.

Mexico

Mexico

There is no applicable law enacted that limits the amount or types of prizes. However, they cannot be illegal products or regulated products without their respective authorization/license.

Netherlands

Netherlands

For prize draws, the total maximum value of prizes to be won (or a prize if there is only one prize awarded) should not exceed the amount of €100,000 (approx. US$112,000) per year.

There is no maximum amount for skill-based games.

New Zealand

New Zealand

Where a prize promotion amounts to gambling, the prize being offered must not be prohibited under the Gambling Act. It is illegal to offer the following as prizes for a prize promotion:

  • Firearms or explosives;

  • Restricted weapons or air guns;

  • Any form of liquor and alcohol;

  • Tobacco products;

  • Commercial sexual services;

  • An object more than 50 years old that relates to Māori culture, history or society, and was brought into New Zealand by Māori people; and

  • Vouchers or entitlements to any of the above.
Nigeria

Nigeria

  • Promoters shall award prizes as described in their advertising or reasonable equivalents.

  • Prize draws must be awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and under the supervision of an independent observer.

  • Participants in instant win promotions shall get their winnings at once or shall know immediately what they have won and how to claim without delay, unreasonable costs or administrative barriers. Instant win tokens or numbers shall be awarded on a fair and random basis and verification shall take the form of an independently audited statement that all prizes have been distributed, or made available for distribution in that manner.  
Norway

Norway

The use of live animals, alcoholic beverages or tobacco as prizes is prohibited.

The prize cannot be cash if the annual turnover of the lottery is below 200,000 NOK (approx. US$23,000), however this does not apply in relation to scratch cards and bingo. Gift cards can be used as prizes as long as they cannot be exchanged for cash.

Otherwise, prizes awarded must be as described in a company's marketing communications.

Poland

Poland

There are no specific legal restrictions on the prizes awarded, unless - based on general regulations - economic circulation of a particular item/service is excluded or restricted. In addition, the terms of the prize promotion should determine the amount, value and type of the prize, as well as information on whether it is possible to receive a cash equivalent of the prize instead of the prize itself.

Portugal

Portugal

For prize draws, prizes must be goods or services with economic value, not cash, and cannot be substituted with cash.

Without prejudice to what is mentioned in the Skills Competitions section, for skill competitions, prizes may in principle be granted in cash; however, the authorities are not entirely consistent on this point.

Furthermore, please note that there may be specific regulations prohibiting the award of certain goods as prizes (for example tobacco products, weapons etc).

Romania

Romania

The organizer must ensure that prizes granted correspond with the descriptions indicated in the competitions rules, marketing presentations or other similar documents. Otherwise, advertising communications may be considered as misleading, for example:

  • Where the advertising suggests to the addressee that he/she has won the prize, although the draw has not yet occurred

  • Where the advertising suggests to the addressee that he/she won an important prize, when in reality the prize has a minimum or nominal value

The legal framework requires compliance with strict rules when advertising alcoholic drinks, tobacco, guns, weapons etc.; advertising for medicines issued with no medical prescription falls within the remit of the National Medicine Agency.

Russia

Russia

There are no specific restrictions on prizes to be awarded. However, goods which are generally restricted to the public by law, such as weapons and narcotic substances, cannot be offered as an award.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

The competition, including prizes, must not violate the principles of Shari’a and customs in Saudi Arabia. For example, the consumption of alcohol is forbidden under Shari’a, and a prize such as the supply of wine would not be permitted. As part of the licence application process for a promotion/competition, the competent authorities will require details of the prizes to be awarded.

Singapore

Singapore

Please refer to the section on Selection of winners.

South Korea

South Korea

Prizes must not be improper or excessive (based on business norms) and the substance of the prize must be accurately specified and advertised.

Previously there was a regulation that limited the maximum value of gifts or prizes provided to customers through sweepstakes or contests as an ancillary product to the main transaction, but that rule has been abolished as of July 1, 2016.

Spain

Spain

None (except that the goods restricted in circulation eg weapons obviously cannot be part of any award).

Sweden

Sweden

No. However, extensive information concerning the prizes, namely the number, value and type of prize, must be provided before, or at the time of, entry. Also, the promoter is required to provide information regarding whether or not the prize(s) may be exchanged for a cash substitute equal to its value and whether or not the winner may be liable to pay taxes.

Thailand

Thailand

Cash prizes are not permitted.

Turkey

Turkey

Under Turkish Law, the GDNL alone has the authority to organize lotteries with prize money. Therefore, in Turkey, promoters are not allowed to organize lotteries where the prize is money or any other convertible currency. There are no other specific restrictions on the prizes awarded.  However, the prize given should not violate other legislative provisions or public orders (i.e. weapons, tobacco products, etc. cannot be given as non-cash prizes).

Ukraine

Ukraine

No.

According to the law, prizes (types, quantity, etc) shall be defined in the terms and conditions of prize promotions. In this regard, from a consumer protection perspective, the prizes to be awarded must correspond to those prizes which were announced by the advertiser in the terms and conditions of the prize promotion.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

Prizes must be awarded as described in the marketing communication.

Consumers are protected under the Consumer Protection Law and so all prizes must be fit for purpose and confirm with their advertised specification.

Prizes can include benefits, incentives or vouchers but cannot be an amount of money. Generally a request can be made on a case by case basis to the DED to confirm whether a prize is acceptable.

Alcohol, pork products or any other product or service that is against Islamic Shari'a law cannot be awarded as a prize.

Campaign organizers can allocate consolation prizes of a value not exceeding AED 100 (approx. US$27), provided there are no more than 100 awards in a single campaign, and 50 awards for each draw in case of multiple draws.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

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

Participants in instant-win promotions must get their winnings at once or must know immediately what they have won and how to claim without delay, unreasonable costs or administrative barriers.

United States

United States

Overall Summary

The sweepstakes laws generally do not restrict the type or prizes awarded. However, there may be restrictions on the awards of certain kinds of prizes under industry-specific regulations, such as alcohol or prescription drugs.

Selected States

Arizona – Prizes cannot be offered that are a lure to separate participants from their money. A.R.S. § 13-3301.

California – Alcoholic beverages or anything redeemable for alcoholic beverages cannot be awarded in a sweepstake. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 25600.2.