5 State Requirements for Running a Sweepstakes
Many states in the United States have specific requirements and regulations for running a sweepstakes. It’s important to note that the laws and regulations can vary from state to state and is ever-evolving. Today we will provide you with a general overview, but it’s essential to consult a sweepstakes agency who specializes in sweepstakes law (like Sync Marketing) to review the specific statutes and regulations of each state to ensure compliance. Below are a five state requirements for running a sweepstakes:
- New York and Florida: New York and Florida have stringent regulations regarding sweepstakes promotions. If the total prize value exceeds $5,000, the sweepstakes must be registered and bonded with the New York Gaming Commission and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Additionally, certain disclosures must be included in the official rules, such as the number of entries received, the total ARV of all prizes and the odds of winning in order to be accepted from the registrar. Bonding and registration are services that Sync Marketing can handle for your company.
- Rhode Island: Rhode Island requires sweepstakes sponsors to obtain a license if the total prize value exceeds $500. Sponsors must also provide certain disclosures to participants, such as the number of prizes, their estimated retail value, and the odds of winning. In addition, when the sweepstakes is complete these winner’s lists need to be filed with the states.
- California has specific regulations for sweepstakes promotions, including the requirement to provide participants with a way to enter without making a purchase (no purchase necessary). There are several ways to offer a few alternate method of entry (AMOE), but recently Sync Marketing has been advises our clients to provide this digitally. Sync Marketing can create an affordable and effective entry collection form if you sweepstakes requires an AMOE. We typically only advertise the link for this entry collection form in the Official Rules.
- California also has specific regulations related to sweepstakes involving alcohol. Sweepstakes sponsors must comply with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) guidelines, which include obtaining proper licenses and adhering to specific advertising and marketing rules for alcoholic beverages. To learn more about running a sweepstakes as an alcohol brand, check out our blog post on sweepstakes tips for alcohol companies.
- Massachusetts: Massachusetts requires the registration of sweepstakes promotions with the Attorney General’s Office if the total prize value exceeds $5,000. Winners must be selected at random, and certain disclosures, including the odds of winning, must be included in the official rules.
- Texas: Texas prohibits certain deceptive practices in sweepstakes. These include false or misleading representations, misleading prize descriptions, and misrepresenting the odds of winning. It’s essential to ensure that your sweepstakes promotions are transparent, accurate, and do not engage in any prohibited practices.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and other states may also have their own unique requirements and regulations. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and comply with the specific laws of each state in which you plan to run a sweepstakes to ensure legal compliance. Sync Marketing has an extremely experienced promotion law team that will draft your Official Rules to be compliant. Contact us today for a same day quote!