Gaming, Sweepstakes & Contests


Special promotions are terrific for drumming up interest in the goods or services that your organization provides. Among the most effective are gaming, sweepstakes, and contests that get target audiences excited. But each has its own legal issues that must be addressed to abide by state and federal laws.

Gaming Issues

Gaming can become an issue if it is viewed as a type of wagering instead of a fun way to win prizes as part of a marketing promotion. The rules need to be laid out clearly and the odds of winning different prizes are listed very prominently.

Participants need to know they are not risking money or need to possess special skills to win. Winners must be selected randomly by chance instead of skill being the determining factor in who wins prizes.

Sweepstakes Issues

Sweepstakes are a fun and entertaining way to reward enthusiasts while raising awareness of your goods or services. Sweepstakes could cross legal lines if state or federal authorities view the promotion as a game of chance. If so, then the sweepstakes could be an illegal form of gambling and produce bad publicity, and likely net some fines.

Contest Issues

Contests are another great promotional tool that could go awry if done improperly. If two or more people think they won the same individual prize, it is possible to turn a fun promotion into a legal battle.

Contests must have very clearly laid out rules that are readily available to consumers. That makes it easier for them to understand how to play and win. It also helps to prevent possible lawsuits and bad publicity if confusion causes chaos among participants.

The experienced attorneys at Nelson Griffin LLP can help to ensure your special promotions are fully legal and presented properly for public consumption. They can review your promotional materials and help to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

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