Compliance for competition prize draws in the UK

Prize competitions and prize draws (free draws) do not require a license to operate in Great Britain. This is unlike lotteries which are regulated by The Gambling Commission.

The winners of prize competitions are determined by actual skill. For example, entrants are asked a question, and have to answer it correctly to win. If more than one person gets the answer correct, you may draw the winner(s) at random from all valid entries. You can charge the entrant to enter a prize competition.

Prize draws are promotions where the entry is free (or at least has a genuine free entry option) and the winners are determined randomly. Entry can be via purchase of a product or service as long as the entry component is free.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK's independent regulator of advertising across all media. They are responsible for applying the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP).

CAP Code Section 8 is relevant to prize draws and you should take specific note of Rule 8.24 concerning the way that you award the prizes:

"Promoters of prize draws must ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and, unless winners are selected by a computer process that produces verifiably random results, by an independent person, or under the supervision of an independent person."

Some promoters print out the entries and perform a so called "barrel" draw. This is generally allowed if the draw is held or verified by an independent person. 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 a consumer prompt a review by the ASA).

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.co.uk™ meets the requirements of the CAP Code with respect to the "randomness" of the draw process. By using our service, you do not need an independent observer (as the system itself is independent) to attend the draw. 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.co.uk™?

  • Use for prize draws 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
  • Trusted by brands, agencies, and law firms
  • Complete draw in under two minutes
  • All major credit cards accepted