Promosfera responds: prize-draws and -competitions in Italy

Useful information for organising prize-draws and -competitions in Italy

Our series of interviews under the heading “Promosfera responds” continues to answer to your questions and concerns about prize-draws and -competitions and gift with purchase promotions around the world.

Today we speak with Edoardo Zocchi, Italian Project Manager of Promosfera, who explains which draws and competitions are allowed in Italy, if and when foreign companies can launch promotional initiatives in this country and which officials must be present when prizes are awarded.

Are draws based on chance and competitions based on skill both allowed?

Unlike in many countries, Italian legislation does not distinguish between the various methods of awarding prizes in a draw or competition.
In Italy, chance draws either with Instant Win or Final Draws are both allowed, as are those based on skill and merit, initiatives with rankings and those that depend on the ability to be the first to perform a particular action (Rush & Win). W
hat Italian legislation requires is that the method of awarding the prizes at stake is well defined and clearly described in the draw/competition regulations, an essential document that must be sent to the Ministry of Economic Development before the start of the prize promotion.
One Italian peculiarity, shared with very few other countries, is that any draw or competition, regardless of the participation mechanism, is subject to the same obligations.

Can the promoter of a draw or competition be a foreign company?

Italian legislation allows foreign companies to run prize promotions in Italy provided that the foreign company uses a tax representative or the direct identification system (the latter is valid only for companies not resident in Italy but belonging to another EU Member State).
More recent interpretations in principle allow an EU promoter to run a draw/competition for Italian consumers according to the legislation of their own country but only if the competition is online, not linked to an in-store purchase and communication of the same does not take place on Italian territory.
This interpretation, however, clashes with the need to fulfil tax obligations.

Is the presence of an official required when awarding prizes?

Italian law requires that each stage of awarding prizes in a draw/competition be carried out in the presence of a notary or a person responsible for the protection of the consumer and public confidence competent for the territory.
The notary or official in charge has the task of drafting the report on the assignment of the prize and the closing report verifying that the competition has been carried out in compliance with the regulations and the requirements for participation and assignment provided for by the regulations.
In addition, they must verify the authenticity of the signatures affixed to the deposit/guarantee provided, the actual delivery of the prizes to the winners and any payment to the non-profit organisation.

To learn more and to organise a prize-draw or -competition in Italy, contact us!