Compliance for contest prize draws in Canada

Canadian contests are governed by various laws and regulations, including the Competition Act and the Criminal Code. In addition, if a contest is offered in Quebec, specific provincial legislation will apply.

It is important to include a skill testing question in your promotional contest in order to comply with the Criminal Code. By adding a skill testing question to a random draw contest, the contest becomes a permitted game of mixed skill and chance. You should also ensure that you comply with the "no purchase necessary" requirement. That is, entrants must be allowed to enter for free.

For the chance based component of the contest, it is important that the method of selecting the winners is actually random. This is a key aspect of running a legal contest.

Some promoters print out the entries and perform a manual (non-electronic) draw. This is generally allowed if the process is fair and objective. However, in most cases, this is cumbersome and makes it difficult to keep records of the draw (it is important that you keep a record of the draw should you be reviewed by a relevant authority, such as the Competition Bureau).

It is also a potential perception issue. Your entrants are likely to feel more confident about the objectivity of the draw knowing that it was performed electronically. It is generally fine to use a random function within a spreadsheet application. However, you would be advised to take screenshots of the process showing the input, the draw, and the output.

randomdraws.ca™ meets the requirements with respect to the "randomness" of the draw process. And you are assured that you are keeping proper records should you need evidence of a proper draw. You will receive a certificate of compliance with each draw with all draw and approval details.

If you have questions about our methodology or would like to discuss any compliance issues, visit the FAQ section, or contact us.

Why should I use randomdraws.ca™?

  • Use for contests and promotional giveaways
  • Draw winners now or schedule for later
  • Maintain records for audit purposes
  • Certificate of compliance provided
  • Pay for one draw or pre-purchase to save
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  • Complete draw in under two minutes
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