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

Restrictiveness of regulations

How restrictive are the legal obligations applicable to prize promotions?

Argentina

Argentina

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.

Australia

Australia

The Australian laws in relation to trade promotions and games of chance are State and Territory based and as a result care must be taken to ensure compliance if a promotion is to be run nationally. For example, permits are not required in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia while trade promotion lotteries in New South Wales and the Australia Capital Territory require a permit. Permits are required in the Northern Territory and South Australia only if the total prize pool value exceeds A$5,000 (approx. US$3,463).

It is however, comparatively simple to avoid the gaming / lotteries legislation by running promotions as a game of skill.

Austria

Austria

In Austria there are only a handful of provisions setting out requirements regarding prize promotions. Those provisions are not unduly onerous, as there is no registration or other formality requirement. Therefore most prize promotion mechanisms are allowed as long as it is not a game of chance as defined by applicable Austrian gaming laws. Also the provisions of the Unfair Competition Act prohibiting misleading or aggressive prize promotions need to be complied with. 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.).

Belgium

Belgium

The rules in Belgium allow for the organization of prize promotions quite easily without formal requirements. Having said this, it should be taken into account that certain prize promotion mechanisms are prohibited in Belgium and can therefore not be organized.  Also, 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.).

Brazil

Brazil

Not very restrictive. While authorization is required, the authority is usually aiming to approve promotions and work alongside promoters in order to find a better way to enable the promotion to be run.

In view of that, it is not likely that a prize promotion mechanic will be refused altogether.

Canada

Canada

Canadian contest laws are slightly more onerous than those of other countries, due to the no-purchase entry option, the skill-testing question requirement, the disclosure requirements, and the privacy/anti-spam restrictions.

Quebec contest laws are significantly more onerous because they require registration, translation and bonds. Accordingly, many contests in Canada exclude Quebec registrants.

Chile

Chile

Prize promotions are unlawful, except if they are explicitly permitted by law.

In this way, prize promotions related to lawful bets and games, such as prize promotions based on skill, sweepstakes and contests allowed by law of protection of consumer rights and games of chance for recreational purposes, will be allowed. Other types of mechanisms used for prize promotions will only be accepted provided that they are specifically accepted by law and under the condition they are operated by authorized operators.

China

China

The existing rules set out some basic requirements, which are based on common sense and are not unduly onerous. There are no registration or other formality requirements, except for promotions conducted by retail stores 3,000m2 or larger. Most prize promotion mechanics are allowed so long as:

  • It is not a lottery; and

  • The highest prize is not more than ¥50,000 (approx. US$7,270) for prize promotions based on chance.

The rules are not overly burdensome for promoters. The standard to distinguish between prize-offering and lottery is not very clear and in practice prize promotions are rarely considered as lotteries.

Colombia

Colombia

Although permission is rarely denied, prize promotions (excluding promotions that are competitions where the winners are determined solely on the basis of skill) are subject to governmental authorization and a fee for the exploitation rights must be paid in all cases.

In addition to the general rules applied to advertisements such as consumer protection law, other specific regulation applies for prize promotions. If, during the promotion, there is collection of personal data, the company shall ensure that the data subject has granted a written authorization for the collection and processing of personal data, prior to the collection.

Denmark

Denmark

The rules relating to prize promotions are not very extensive if no stake is paid for participation in the prize promotion. However, prize promotions do have a formal requirement of registration (see above in the Registration Requirements section) and quite strict requirements in regard to marketing towards consumers. Also, 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.).

Finland

Finland

Most prize promotion mechanics are allowed as long as the promotion does not amount to a lottery or gambling. The main focus is on providing consumers with clear and unambiguous information on the rules of the promotion and on prohibiting misleading marketing.  Also, 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.).

France

France

French rules have recently been simplified with respect to prize promotions, with less requirements, which are not unduly onerous (there are no registration or further formality requirements, and most prize promotion mechanics are allowed so long as it is not a prohibited lottery). The steps necessary to avoid falling into the category of prohibited lottery are (whilst important) not very restrictive. However, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

Germany

Germany

As there is no registration requirement for prize promotions in Germany, and the distinction from illegal gambling is quite clear as well as the rules governing the legal scheme/set-up for prize promotions, we do not assess the legal obligations under German law as onerous.

However, please note, that the general rules on the validity of general terms and conditions (governing the conditions for participation in a prize promotion) as well as the German data protection rules are in our experience comparatively strict in comparison to other jurisdictions (eg UK and the US). Therefore, it is very important that the rules for prize promotions are reviewed in regard to these issues prior to being published/put on the market.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

A Trade Promotion Competitions License or an Amusements With Prizes License is required, but the requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to obtain either one of them are not unduly onerous or restrictive.

Hungary

Hungary

The rules in Hungary allow for the organization of prize promotions quite easily without formal requirements (except for prize draws). Having said this, it should be taken into account that certain prize promotion mechanisms are prohibited in Hungary and therefore cannot be organized.  Also, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

India

India

There is no umbrella legislation in India which lays down detailed requirements in relation to a prize promotion. Prize promotions are generally allowed as long as they do not amount to gambling or a lottery, or an unfair trade practice under the applicable laws. There is no particular registration/licensing requirement, except in the case of a ‘prize competition’. Overall, the legal regime governing prize promotions in India is not particularly restrictive.

Ireland

Ireland

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.).

Italy

Italy

The DPR provisions are quite detailed and restrictive. More in particular it is important to point out that international / multi-jurisdictional promotions and competitions are not generally allowed under Italian law (see Skills competitions section). Finally, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (eg.e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

Japan

Japan

The AAUPMR rules set out quite detailed requirements with respect to the maximum single prize value and maximum total value of all prizes, but are based on common sense and are not unduly onerous (there are no registration or other formality requirements, and most prize promotion mechanics are allowed so long as it is not a lottery).

Mexico

Mexico

For prize draws, there is a requirement to obtain a licence/ registration (see Prize draws section), and there are also some quite specific requirements as to what must be included in terms and conditions (see Other local requirements).

Netherlands

Netherlands

Prize promotions are generally accepted in the Netherlands, provided that they are in compliance with the Code of Conduct. The steps necessary to avoid not falling into the category of 'promotional game of chance' under the Code of Conduct are (while important) not very restrictive.  However, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

New Zealand

New Zealand

The Gambling Act has limited compliance requirements for sales promotion schemes in New Zealand. There is no restriction on turnover or on the value of prizes awarded, and no license is required.

The key restriction is on 'remote interactive gambling' where, as noted, the prize winners must be chosen by way of a lottery.

Nigeria

Nigeria

The legal obligations applicable to prize promotions in Nigeria are not particularly restrictive. Rather, they are tailored towards promoting high ethical standards in the advertising industry.

Norway

Norway

The rules relating to prize promotion regulation are not very extensive, and although fines can be extreme, as long as no payment is received for prize promotions, then the applicable rules are generally common sense and not unduly onerous. However, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).  Lotteries, where a stake is paid out, require licenses which are more onerous to obtain.

Poland

Poland

Under Polish law there are a limited number of restrictions and formal requirements regarding the organizing of prize promotions. Therefore, most prize promotion mechanics are allowed (provided the promotion is not considered as a lottery or another gambling game regulated in the Gambling Act).  However, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

Portugal

Portugal

The legal framework applicable to prize draws is restrictive. There are several legal requirements and formalities, notably prior authorization from the competent authority as well as obligations to present additional documents after the prize draw has been conducted, to the competent authority (e.g. evidence of the delivery of the prizes and the payment of applicable taxes).

The mechanic of the prize draw is, in general terms, allowed as long as it does not fall within the scope of 'fortune games' (e.g. bingo, casino games, sports betting, etc) or within the concept of 'State Social Games' (e.g. lotteries).

Finally, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

Romania

Romania

GO 99/2000 set out general requirements which are not unduly onerous for the organizer.  However, 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.).

Russia

Russia

The skill-based prize promotions are generally subject to soft/mild legal treatment and the applicable legal regulations are not restrictive or onerous.

However, lotteries are subject to a very restrictive and heavily regulated regime (ie mandatory conclusion of a contract with the state authority under the tender procedure, state duties, annual audit. prohibition of lotteries on the Internet).

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

There is generally no system of precedent in Saudi Arabia, and government officials/authorities have a broad discretion when considering matters on a case by case basis. The law is drafted in general and non-prescriptive terms, and this places greater emphasis on consultation with the competent authorities to confirm current local practice (which can differ from to time), and also the specific particulars of any proposed promotion/competition. These factors, coupled with the requirement under the ACFR to obtain a license before undertaking and/or advertising a promotion/ competition, means that this is not necessarily a straightforward process relative to some other jurisdictions.

Singapore

Singapore

The rules under the applicable prize promotion regulations are detailed though not unduly onerous. There are no formal registration requirements unless a specific exemption is being sought. Exempt prize promotions, including lotteries, are permitted as long as the conditions set out in the relevant statutes have been met.

South Korea

South Korea

As discussed in the section on restrictions on prizes, there are no limits on prizes as of July 1, 2016. Therefore, the only restrictions on prize promotions are based on the general regulations of the FTL. Given these changes in relation to prize promotion-related regulations, it is unlikely that this area will be very actively regulated.

Spain

Spain

There are significant and fairly onerous obligations, for example relating to taxation; and GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (e.g. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.). However, the requirements relating to the contents of terms and conditions are not very extensive.

Sweden

Sweden

The Swedish Gambling Act entered into force on 1 January 2019 and is less restrictive than the previous regime.  However, 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.).

Thailand

Thailand

The way in which a prize promotion event is run is also restricted. Please refer to the section on Selection of winners.

Turkey

Turkey

In Turkey, prize promotion activities are allowed as long as the prize is not money or any other convertible currency. The main focus is on providing consumers with clear and explicit information on the rules of the promotion and on prohibiting misleading marketing.

The skill-based prize promotions are generally subject to general legal rules which are not restrictive. For prize draws, there is a requirement to obtain an approval, and there are also some quite specific requirements as to what must be included in terms and conditions.

Ukraine

Ukraine

The Ukrainian legislation does not set out detailed requirements, applicable to holding prize promotions. Thus the applicable legislation cannot be regarded as onerous.

However, the Ukrainian legislation strictly prohibits gambling and holding lotteries without a license.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

The laws and regulations relating to prize promotions in the UAE - Dubai are relatively limited when compared with other heavily regulated jurisdictions.

However, the requirements are onerous as a permit is required to run promotions, and a representative of the DED should be present in case of a prize draw, even when the draw is taking place outside of Dubai. Travel and accommodation of the DED representative should be included in the budget.

This said, most prize promotion mechanics are allowed as long as they are not considered as gambling or betting. The steps required to avoid falling into these categories are not very restrictive.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The CAP rules set out quite detailed requirements, but are based on common sense and are not unduly onerous (there are no registration or other formality requirements, and most prize promotion mechanics are allowed so long as it is not a lottery). Compliance with the CAP rules will generally result in compliance with the (less detailed) CPRs. The steps necessary to avoid falling into the category of 'lottery' under the Gambling Act 2005 are (while important) not very restrictive.

GDPR imposes significant restrictions on the data aspects of running prize promotions (eg. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

United States

United States

Overall Summary

A prize promotion mechanic is highly likely to be prohibited if chance is the dominant factor and entrants are required to make a payment or purchase a product or a substantial expenditure of effort in order to enter. If there is no purchase or payment required to enter then, except for registrations requirements in a few states, it is likely the prize promotion can be offered as long as certain disclosures are made.