The BlackBerry Developers Challenge is open to anyone given local and state laws do not void the contest. According to the site:
“The Challenge is open to developers working on a BlackBerry application. In order to be eligible, developers may be individuals resident, or entities located anywhere (excluding the province of Quebec).”
Quebec is host to many talented developers, and even one of the founders of the BlackBerry Partners Fund, JLA Ventures, has an office in Montreal. So why is Quebec excluded?
The Quebec government, through the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (translated to ‘the regulatory board for alcohol, contests and games) has rules that discourage chance-based sweepstakes. Among the rules: the company running the draw has to give a large percentage of the prize money to the government, and allow the Régie to change or cancel the contest at any time.
Although the Regie rules do not apply to the Developers Challenge, it is indicative of the red tape surrounding any venture in Quebec. The Quebec government, through a variety of language requirements, often impose added costs on these competitions by requiring translation and additional language support.
In the end, it was likely a legal decision to not include Quebec, just to be safe.
[This article is thanks to Roberto Rocha of the Montreal Gazette]