ELECTRONIC SPORTS COMPETITIONS ARE NOT PUBLICITY CONTESTS
Following the request of the Fédération québécoise de sports électroniques (the “FQSE”) to clarify the legal status of electronic sports (e-sports) competitions, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux du Québec (the “RACJ”) addressed the issue and stated in an official letter received on November 15, 2016 that electronic sports competitions are not considered “publicity contests” within the meaning of the legislation. Therefore, these competitions do not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the RACJ, and organizers do not have to report this kind of competitions or pay any related fees.
The RACJ considers that electronic sports tournaments are events in which a form of competition is present and in which the players’ skills play a part:
“Since e sport focuses on players’ personnal skills, its main purpose is not promotional purposes, but rather to allow video gamers to compete with each other to determine who is most skillful and, as in all competitions, to award a prize to the most talented participants.”
As a reminder, the ambiguity surrounding the legal status of electronic sports competitions had previously caused the exclusion of Quebec residents from some international tournaments. By clarifying the situation, the statement of the RACJ is a key argument to convince the organizers of those competitions to welcome Quebec participants from now on.
The next step, starting now, is to spread the news to the organizations that are still excluding Quebec residents, as well as among Quebec players so that they are aware of their rights and know that the Fédération québécoise de sports électroniques can help them if need be.
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— FQSÉ (@QuebecEsports) 23 novembre 2016
Acknowledgements: The FQSE would like to thank every person and organization who helped advance the cause directly or indirectly. This includes all the people who worked on the issue when it was led by Boreal eSports. Special thanks to BCF Avocats d’affaires and Loto-Québec for their overwhelming support.
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