How to organise a sweepstakes or a contest in Canada

How to organise a sweepstakes or a contest in Canada

Learn more about prize-draws or -competitions in Canada

Winning a sweepstakes or a contest in Canada is not just down to luck.

In Canada, as well as in the neighbouring United States, prize-draws or -competitions are divided into two types:

  • Sweepstakes, in which the winners are selected mainly based on luck,
  • Contests, in which the winners are chosen based on a demonstrated skill or merit.

At the federal level, the organisation of the Sweepstakes is particularly delicate. The presence of the factor of luck can in fact give rise to an illegal lottery.

To avoid risks, you have to introduce skill elements – such as, for example a “skill-testing question” or a question, inserted in the mechanism of the draw or contest or in the subsequent validation stage of the winnings, which the participant must answer correctly in order to actually win the prize.

What you have to pay special attention to in a sweepstakes or a contest in Canada

When organising a sweepstakes or a contest in Canada, you have to pay attention to many aspects.

In addition to the obligations provided for in the regulations, you have also to ensure that the communication materials are clear, not misleading and include the necessary legal provisions. 

You must also always comply with Canadian privacy laws and, in the case of social media draws or contests, with the policies adopted by each social media company regarding promotions, draws and competitions.

The territorial extent of your initiative is also an important element you need to consider. If your competition extends to Quebec, you will have to comply to additional restrictions and obligations with at least 30 days in advance. 

Do you want to create a contest or sweepstake in CanadaContact us!