October 26, 2016
Conducting a sweepstakes, contest or other form of promotion can be a highly effective way of increasing your customer base, or creating stronger brand loyalty among existing customers. Through the use of a sweepstakes promotion, business owners can capitalize on the excitement and allure of potentially winning a prize in order to garner consumer attention and generate buzz for a given brand.
But business owners need to take precautions before going live with a given contest. Sweepstakes are heavily regulated on a state-by-state (and country-by-country) basis. Sweepstakes operators must comply with all applicable regulations in order to ensure that their sweepstakes are not considered illegal lotteries or some other form of gambling.
Given that criminal sanctions could be imposed if a sweepstakes contest is deemed to be illegal gambling, it is imperative that businesses retain qualified, experienced sweepstakes attorneys in order to ensure that their sweepstakes-related activities are compliant with all applicable laws.
What Can Sweepstakes Attorneys Do for You?
Because the laws applicable to sweepstakes may vary on a state-by-state basis (as well as with respect to other countries, such as Canada), the legal landscape can resemble a minefield for those without ample knowledge of the various legal doctrines. For example, some states/foreign jurisdictions may have different rules that apply if a given contest is deemed to be a game of skill, as opposed to a game of chance, and whether or not there is an entry fee of any type involved.
Further, some states may require that the applicable sweepstakes is registered, and that a bond is secured to cover the potential prize payout. In addition, some states have specific rules about the consent required for a sweepstakes operator to publish the names and biographical information of contest winners.
Regardless of the jurisdiction involved, sweepstakes operators must make certain that they have published (in a prominent fashion) legally compliant contest rules that expressly and clearly set forth the general terms and conditions governing the subject contest, the number of entries permitted, the prizes involved (and the prize values and manner in which they are awarded), the duration of the applicable sweepstakes contest and more.
Sweepstakes Attorneys Make Sure You Play by the Rules
Sweepstakes law can be confusing, and there are significant risks involved if you are not well-versed in the various laws that apply to sweepstakes contests on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. Proper planning and qualified legal guidance from experienced sweepstakes attorneys are absolutely essential to ensuring the successful utilization of this potent promotional tool.
Please note that this is only a brief overview of some of the legal issues surrounding sweepstakes and other promotional contests and, as such, remember to obtain guidance from an experienced sweepstakes attorney prior to conducting a promotional game or sweepstakes.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or require assistance in connection with your sweepstakes and promotional campaigns, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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