If you’ve ever tried to include residents of Canada in a promotion, you’ve probably encountered the requirements set out by the Province of Quebec's Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux (Régie), which include registering the promotion and paying taxes based on the value of the prize pool as well as the requirement to make all marketing materials, including the entry form (if there is one) and promotions rules, available in the French language. In the majority of promotions, one or both of these requirements have resulted in the sponsor choosing to exclude residents of Quebec.
If the registration and tax requirements were your reason for always excluding Quebec, we have some good news for you (and residents of Quebec). As Kelly Harris, a partner at the Canadian law firm, Miller Thomson, so eloquently put it, “International contest sponsors no longer need to fear the complexity of Régie registration in Quebec.”
Why, do you ask? Quebec recently changed its promotion registration and tax requirements in order to allow Quebec residents to be included in international promotions provided there is no Canada-specific prize pool. If the promotion includes a Canada-specific prize pool, then the tax payments and registration with the Régie are still necessary.
What does this mean for advertisers who wish to include Canada in their promotions? Provided they are willing to offer all marketing materials in French and there is no Canada-specific prize pool, there is now no reason to exclude residents of Quebec from entering.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!