You’re looking to create an online sweepstake or contest around the World Cup or one of the dozens of other marketing opportunities of the summer? Then you’ve come to the right place! Qualifio and Lawbox are proud to help your write strong rules for your next campaign and make sure it is 100% compliant with the existing regulation in Belgium.

Online sweepstakes and contests are subject to complex rules that prohibit games of chance and protect consumers. Comprehensive and tailor-made rules will help you avoid many pitfalls, particularly when it comes to awarding prizes or to prevent cheating.

Is my sweepstake compliant with the Belgian law?

Belgian rules recognise several categories of games, including:

  • Lotteries: games where the player remains totally passive and the selection of the winner is solely by chance;
  • Games of chance, where the participant plays a somewhat active part (e.g. by answering questions) and a good deal of chance is involved in the selection of the winner;
  • Contests: in addition to the player’s active participation, contests are games where participants are able to influence the results by making use of their brain power or skills.

The first two are prohibited or regulated in Belgium. Therefore, at a minimum, you should add a subsidiary question (e.g. “How many correct answers will we receive in total on June 25, 2018?”) This will help you separate participants in a tie.

The 3 golden rules of safely organising a sweepstake

  • Respect the consumer protection principles, particularly regarding the transparency of information. A sweepstake is very much a form of advertising, which means that consumers must be informed and cannot be misled about its essential elements.
  • If you collect and process personal data, make sure your sweepstake complies with the provisions governing protection of the privacy. For instance, if you intend to use the email addresses you collected during registration for direct marketing purposes. The organiser’s privacy policy should be shared with the participants. In this policy, essential information should be made available: purpose(s) for which the data is collected, data retention period, rights of the players in relation to their data, etc.
  • Last but not least, write rules and make them easily accessible for participants. It is even advised to ask them to tick a box to indicate that they have read (and accepted) the rules before they take part in your sweepstake. Remember: well-written rules will be of no use to you if you can’t raise it as an argument in case of a problem. And in order to do so, the player must have read and accepted the rules (much like a contract, where the signature would have been replaced by a checkbox).

Help! I don’t know where to start…

Launch date, sweepstake period, announcement of the winner, gameplay, value of the prizes, participation conditions… To give you the maximum protection, your rules should be complete and tailored to your sweepstake. Be particularly careful about the supplementary rules that may apply in certain cases. For example, Facebook has its own guidelines for contests run on your page.

But don’t let those complex-looking elements be a deterrent! Online sweepstakes allow you to grow, engage and interact with your audiences, highlight your products and/or services, qualify and segment your databases, increase customer loyalty, or even to improve your brand image. It would thus be a shame to miss the opportunity to engage your online communities!

Lawbox is an online tool that allows you to create personalised legal documents in record time and at a truly affordable price. If necessary, you may also get legal advice. How does it work? Go to the website of Lawbox, answer a short questionnaire and generate your own contest rules in a few clicks for 49 euros, based on templates written by lawyers.