Quebec enacts exemptions to publicity contest registration requirements

3 minute read
16 August 2021

The Quebec legislature has enacted legislation exempting "international" publicity contests from the province's registration requirements.

Previously, virtually all publicity contests open to Quebec participants were subject to registration with the Régie des alcools, des courses et de jeux (the "Régie"). This requirement was amended, however, by Bill 82, An Act respecting mainly the implementation of certain provisions of the Budget Speech of 10 March 2020, which came into force in June 2021.

Under Bill 82 "international" publicity contests are exempt from registration. A publicity contest is considered "international" for the purposes of this exemption when, in addition to Quebec participants, it is also open to participants from outside of Canada. Note that a publicity contest open to participants from other Canadian jurisdictions, but not contestants from other countries, is not considered "international" for the purposes of this exemption.

A contest is also not considered "international," and thus remains subject to registration requirements, if:

  • The participation form can be obtained only in Quebec (for example, if participants must enter in person at a trade show or other event located in Quebec), even if the contest is open to participants who reside in Canada and other territories.
  • "The main part of the commercial interests of the person for whom" the contest is carried on are in Quebec. As per the Régie's current interpretation, a contest sponsor who is an enterprise located only in Quebec, or whose primary operations are in Quebec, would nevertheless be required to register contests open to international participants. A contest sponsor who is a national or multinational enterprise with operations in Quebec as well as elsewhere but which does not conduct the majority of its operations in the province would not – as per the Régie's current interpretation – be considered to conduct the "main part of" its commercial operations in Quebec, and would thus benefit from the exemption above.

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