Islanders will be able to take part in commercial prize draws for the first time from next month.
Commercial prize draws are run by companies to promote and market themselves and products, offering the public the chance to win a prize if they buy something. The potential prize could be anything from the chance of a free car service if a customer spends £50 on fuel, a free washing machine for buying a set of plates, or a free meal if they buy a newspaper.
The Jersey Gambling Commission is making the change as part of the modernisation of Jersey’s gambling rules. In the past, companies in Jersey have only been allowed to run commercial prize draws on a ‘no purchase necessary’ basis – the change will allow bigger prizes and more marketing and advertising opportunities for businesses.
Dr Jason Lane, the chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, said that companies who wanted to carry out the draws would have to be licensed by the commission to ensure that they were conducted fairly.
Dr Lane said: "This is a method of marketing products that is pretty commonplace and uncontroversial in the UK.
"That said, we are going to allow it under licence and we will be monitoring it strictly. There have been isolated reports of scams in the UK, and we are not going to allow that to happen here.
"This is another sensible step on the way to modernising and reforming Jersey’s gambling regulations. We have deliberately not written prescriptive guidance into the rules, we will be encouraging people to use common sense.
"This is not going to turn into a backdoor way of running commercial lotteries, it will be strictly a promotional and marketing tool."
The rules drawn up the Jersey Gambling Commission require that the commercial prize draws can only be carried out by Jersey companies, can only be advertised to Jersey customers, and that they cannot be run online.
Companies will still be allowed to carry out free prize draws as before without a licence, but anyone who wants to run a commercial prize draw should read the guidance on this website.