Consumer information notice: Free draws and prize competitions
26 January 2022
The Commission has received a number of enquiries regarding ‘win a house’ or ‘win a cash prize’ competitions.
It appears to be the intention of the organisers to run such competitions as Prize Competitions, or Free Draws. The Gambling Act 2005 does not seek to regulate Free Draws or Prize Competitions, rather it draws a distinction between Free Draws, Prize Competitions and Lotteries and sets out what a Prize Competition or Free Draw needs for it not to be classed as a Lottery.
The fact that the Commission does not regulate these competitions means that the competitions themselves, and the companies behind them, may not be subject to the same oversight as regulated providers of gambling products and may not offer the same level of consumer protection against gambling-related harm.
In addition, where such competitions are said to be run for the benefit of good causes, there may be no independent oversight to ensure that the proceeds reach the intended recipient.
The Commission will continue to monitor such competitions and will take action when we consider that Free Draws or Prize Competitions are not being run in compliance with the Gambling Act 2005 and/or are in fact Lotteries.
Last updated: 26 January 2022
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