Back when we posted about the launch of the Rockstar Social Club we mentioned the GTA IV Custom Portrait Sweepstakes, in which you could enter for a chance to win a portrait of yourself rendered in the style of GTA IV artwork. As some folks have noted, though, Canadian residents aren't allowed to take part in this little event.
So, what's the deal?
Back when we visited New York City a couple of weeks ago, I spoke to a couple of individuals from the marketing department with Rockstar New York. I brought up the subject of Canadians being exempt from the sweepstakes, to which they cited Canadian law as the reason for the exemption.
Here's an excerpt from an About.com article that touches on Canadian sweepstakes law:
Canadian sweepstakes law, unlike American law, requires that the third component, "winners are chosen by luck," is removed. Sponsors cannot use pure luck to determine who wins a sweepstake. There must be at least some element of skill involved.
In order remove the element of pure chance, sponsors narrow the field of potential winners by requiring a skill testing question to enter their contests. Every entrant does not have the same chance to win; only those who at least pass the skill testing question are eligible to win prizes. Of course, this is only a technicality. Most people can pass the skill testing questions without difficulty, although sponsors are required to make the test somewhat challenging.
So there you have it. It has nothing to do with Rockstar "singling out" Canadian citizens or leaving us high and dry out of spite. The reason we aren't included in this sweepstakes is that Canadian law requires different rules to be done up here.