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Why are So Many Sweepstakes Void in Quebec?


View of the Chatau Frontenac, an iconic building in Quebec.

Many sweepstakes are void in Quebec. Find out why.

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Question: Why are So Many Sweepstakes Void in Quebec?
I love to enter sweepstakes, but I have a big problem - I live in Quebec. There are a ton of Canadian sweepstakes that I'd love to enter, but they are void in Quebec. Why do so many sweepstakes prohibit Quebec residents from entering? We have almost a third of the population of Canada, I'd think that companies would want to market to us. Don't the sponsors like Quebec?

Quebec Sweepstakes Law Is Behind Many Companies' Decision to Exclude Quebec

Companies don't prohibit residents of Quebec from entering many of their sweepstakes because they don't want to advertise in Quebec, or because they have anything against the residents of that fine province. The reason why so many sweepstakes are void in Quebec is that the sponsors must follow a stringent set of rules set out by the Quebec government.

For example, in order for sponsor to skip the "void in Quebec" restriction, Quebec sweepstakes law requires that the sponsors must do some or all of the following things:

  • Register the sweepstakes rules and all advertisements used to promote the contest with the Quebec government at least 30 days ahead of the sweepstake's launch.
  • Pay a fee of up to 10% of the sweepstakes' value, depending on who is allowed to enter.
  • Agree to allow the government of Quebec to mediate any lawsuits arising from the contest.
  • Follow strict guidelines about the contents of the sweepstakes rules.
  • Allow the Quebec government to determine if the sweepstakes may be changed or canceled once it has started.
  • File a written report after the contest has concluded, attesting that the prizes have been delivered or attempted to be delivered.
  • Agree to follow a number of other rules and guidelines. See the Quebec Sweepstakes Laws.

These restrictions are more severe than those allowed in other Canadian provinces. Imagine the cost for a company based in Florida to litigate disputes about their sweepstakes in Quebec, for example. Especially for smaller companies, the advantage of allowing residents of Quebec to enter does not justify the potential costs.

These laws are intended to protect the citizens of Quebec, and they do ensure that more prizes are awarded as promised, which is so important for sweepers. However, they also cost sweepstakes sponsors money and resources, and the consequences for a mistake are severe. Rather than risking legal action if these sweepstakes laws are not followed to the letter, many sponsors take the easy route of making their contests and sweepstakes void in Quebec.

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