The position in Northern Ireland (‘NI’) on prize draws (where success does not require any exercise of skill) has changed to align with the rest of the UK. For many years, brands who ran prize draws found themselves having to exclude (or provide a free entry route) NI because the law in NI made it unlawful to enter a prize draw which required the purchase of a product or service to enter.

The change comes as a result of amendments to The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, which governs gambling in NI. Participants from NI are now legally allowed to enter prize draws where they need to pay to enter, although with the caveat that the price of the product or service must not have been inflated to take account of the prize draw. This is in line with the position under the Gambling Act 2005 in England, Wales and Scotland. 

Brands who run prize draws will benefit from this change in the law as they will no longer have to choose between excluding NI or offering a no purchase entry route for NI. This should make the process of running prize promotions across the UK a more seamless and straightforward process.