Online Competitions - United Kingdom

Online Competitions in the United Kingdom

Please ensure that you review the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) online competition information:

The UK premium market is subject to clear regulations to protect consumers. As a guide, we kindly remind you that:

  • You should be clear and transparent about the product or service the consumer is about to purchase.
  • You must be upfront and clear about the costs to the consumer before they make a purchase and in line with the latest EE rules, the price must be the same size as the call to action.
  • Consumers should be made aware of exactly how and by what means they will receive the product or service.
  • You need to be very clear about how the consumer can opt-out or otherwise cancel the service or product and receive a refund as appropriate.

Consumers should be fully aware of all information that is likely to affect their decision to participate. 

Element of Skill - The Gambling Act 2005

  • You must include an element of skill as the point of entry or offer a free route of entry that has the same prominence as the billed entry.

In order for a competition not to be deemed as a lottery under the Act, the test at section 14(5) of the Act must be satisfied. Providers must be able to show that the entry mechanism has an element of skill, judgement or knowledge that can reasonably be expected to either: 

  • Deter a significant proportion of those who wish to enter from doing so; or 
  • Prevent a significant proportion of those who do enter from winning a prize. 

The Phone-paid Services Authority accepts that this test has been difficult to interpret and would recommend that any provider wishing to set up such a service should seek legal advice as well as advice from the Gambling Commission (0121 230 6666).

There are specific terms that must be included on your campaign, or within your disclaimer terms:

  • The phrase "Service provided by {insert your Phone-paid Services Authority registration/trading name}".
  • Closing date of the competition (We do not recommend competitions that run for longer than a month).
  • Support details: "Need help? {Insert non-premium support number or email address}."
  • If it is a random draw at the end, include the phrase 'CHANCE TO WIN', this must be a prominent part of your campaign.
  • If the prizes are limited, you need to specify how many are up for grabs. 
  • If the service or prize is age related, this must be clearly visible on your promotion.
  • The phrase "Please make sure that you are over 18 and have the bill payer's permission".
  • The phrase "If you are not the bill payer, you must secure their permission prior to the purchase".
  • The phrase "The charges will be applied to your wireless phone bill or deducted from your prepaid phone balance". 

The following statements should be included in the full Terms and Conditions:

  • For question-based skills, the statement “The winner will be selected from those who answered correctly”.
  • Please do not enter after {insert closing date} time, as the entry will not count and you may still be charged.
  • The winner will be selected on 00/00/00 and contacted via the mobile number that they used to enter on 00/00/00. The prize should be awarded within 28 days of the closing date.
  • Information on any restrictions placed on the availability of those prizes being offered.
  • Any criteria for judging entries.
  • Any alternative prize available.
  • The details of any intended post-event publicity.
  • Any supplementary rules. 

Please note that "Passing Off" is not allowed. This means you cannot use big brand logos to advertise and promote your service, to make the consumer think that the competition is run by the "big brand logo" company.

Question? Speak with our Compliance Team for further advice.