“Prizes” which require substantial payments to claim, and are in fact thinly-disguised sales, have been banned by the European Court of Justice.

One example looked at by the court was a “prize” of a Mediterranean cruise for which lucky winners had to pay a total of £400 for insurance, room supplement, food and drink and port fees. Others aggressively forced “winners” to use expensive premium rate telephone lines to claim their “prize”.

One operator identified by the UK Office of Fair Trading to the European Court was Purely Creative, which uses sheets of scratch cards in tabloid publications to target the gullible.

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