May 2007 – The Ontario government became the first province to regulate gift cards. The provincial government enacted regulations to the Consumer Protection Act that effectively ban expiry dates and monthly service fees. The new regulations, which took effect on October 1, 2007, apply to gift cards irrespective of their stated value. Expiry dates on gift cards are prohibited and any cards that are issued with expiry dates will be treated as if there was no expiry. Suppliers are also prohibited from charging fees to card holders, with the exception of fees relating to the replacement of lost or stolen cards or to customization of the gift card. Suppliers are also required to enter into a written agreement with the consumer that states the restrictions, limitations and conditions that apply to the use of the gift card. While not explicitly stated, it is unlikely the legislation applies to “free gift cards” issued as premiums. Gift cards that are redeemable at multiple unaffiliated sellers (such as mall cards) have an additional 270 days to comply. The province of Manitoba is considering similar legislation.