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Event Cinemas given warning

Amalgamated Holdings, owner of Event Cinemas, has been warned for offering prizes the Commerce Commission believes the company did not intend to provide.

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The warning stems from the commission’s investigation of a complaint that consumers entering Event Cinemas’ “Win $1 million” prize promotion were not entering a draw to win a million dollars. Instead, consumers entered a draw to win the opportunity to play a game of chance where the odds of winning the million-dollar prize were one in 1000.

The commission said consumers were not provided with enough information to understand that winning the headline prize would not only require being selected as the winner of the draw but also successfully completing the game of chance.

The opportunity to participate in the game of chance and associated travel to Sydney, which was to be paid for by Event Cinemas, was valued at A$2700. The commission said this clearly differed from the prize offer of “Win $1 million – Buy Tickets Online and You Are In The Draw”.

The company also claimed every finalist would win a year’s worth of movies, valued at A$4500. However, the commission said finalists who won the million dollar grand prize or one of four $10,000 major prizes in the game of chance wouldn’t receive a year’s worth of movies.

During the investigation, Event Cinemas advised the commission the company believed the promotion complied with the law. However, the commission considered the company’s conduct was likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act, which makes it an offence for retailers to offer prizes with no intention to provide them.

Event Cinemas declined to talk to us about the prize draw, stating it had "no comment".

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