Running and Promoting Competitions in Ireland
Advice and tips for running and promoting a competition in Ireland
If you run competitions in Ireland, it is important to understand the legal requirements and ensure that you comply with them. It may not be enough to simply check the competition rules; you should also consider whether they are being enforced by the relevant authorities.
Are you running competitions in compliance with the rules in Ireland?
If you are planning to run any type of competition, whether it be a race, game show, quiz night, raffle or any other event where prizes are awarded, then you will need to check if you are in compliance with Irish law.
Promoters should not use language that implies that consumers are more lucky or successful than they are. Marketing communications must not imply that a player’s skill can influence the outcome. The ASAI refer to the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956 in their Promotional Marketing Practices code.
Children should not be targeted by marketing communications for competitions. Promoters are responsible for ensuring that all aspects and all stages are promoted effectively and within the law. This includes ensuring that terms and conditions are easily accessed and prominently displayed.
The GDPR requires businesses to take steps to protect customer data, such as keeping it secure and making sure it is accurate. Businesses running competitions in Ireland must also notify customers about how they use their personal information and give them the chance to ask questions.
The ASAI "Promotional Marketing Practices" code is a worthwhile read for any organization looking to run promotional competitions.
If your competition has a prize limit then it may be illegal to run a competition where the total prize pool exceeds the relevant amount in your jurisdiction. For example, if your competition prize value is less than €2,500 and there is no charge to take part, a permit or license is not needed (source). But you cannot offer prizes worth more than that amount. This applies to both cash and non-cash prizes.
Free to enter
If a substantial number of people are required to buy a product or pay to enter, the competition or promotion could be considered a lottery. Before running competitions, especially those with a large prize value or non-free methods of entering, promoters should seek legal advice.
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