Other local requirements
Are there any other key local requirements?
Both state and federal law mandate certain disclosures that need to be made in connection with sweepstakes promotions and advertising. Generally speaking you must provide no purchase necessary disclosures, eligibility requirements, the method of entry, deadline dates (entry, prize claims etc.), the odds of winning, the prize description, and number of prizes and their value, and any special conditions. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram have certain additional disclosures that have to be made.
Selected States – Disclosure Requirements
California – Use of the word 'lucky' to describe an entry form or the use of simulated checks, currency, or items of value are prohibited unless they bear the words 'SPECIMEN-NON-NEGOTIABLE' clearly and conspicuously. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17539.1(a)(11), (13).
Illinois – Prize offer must include the following clear and conspicuous disclosures:
- The true name or names of the sponsor and the address of the sponsor's actual principal place of business;
- The retail value of each prize the person receiving the notice has been selected to receive or may be eligible to receive;
- A disclosure that no purchase is necessary to enter such written promotional offer;
- A disclosure that a purchase will not improve the person's chances of winning with an entry;
- A statement of the person's odds of receiving each prize identified in the notice;
- Any requirement that the person pay the actual shipping or handling fees or any other charges to obtain or use a prize, including the nature and amount of the charges;
- If receipt of the prize is subject to a restriction, a description of the restriction;
- Any limitations on eligibility; and
- If a sponsor represents that the person is a 'finalist', has been 'specially selected', is in 'first place', or is otherwise among a limited group of persons with an enhanced likelihood of receiving a prize, the written prize notice must contain a statement of the maximum number of persons in the group or purported group with this enhanced likelihood of receiving a prize. 815 ILCS 525/25.
New York – The sponsor shall cause to be posted in a conspicuous and prominent location in every retail establishment offering the opportunity to participate in such game or contest and published in all advertising copy used in connection therewith, a statement showing the minimum number and value of prizes available to be won over a stated period of time and stated geographic area, and the rules and regulations pertaining to such promotion or advertising scheme or plan. N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §369-e.
Texas – A person using a drawing must clearly and conspicuously disclose the following:
- A statement of the odds of winning each prize offered, expressed as a ratio in Arabic numerals, except that if the odds of winning a prize cannot be determined because the total number of entries is not known, the offeror shall make a statement to the effect that the odds of winning depend on the total number of entries received;
- The exact prizes to be awarded in the drawing;
- The beginning and ending dates of the contest period;
- The date the drawing will occur;
- The location at which the drawing will occur; and
- The retail value of a prize; and clearly and conspicuously in at least 10-point type that airfare, lodging, or both are not included in a prize that is a trip or recreational activity to the extent that either or both are not included.
Applies only to sweepstakes where a prize is offered as an inducement to attend a sales presentation. Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 621.106.
Additional disclosures required for 'matched contests' and certain sweepstakes offered through the mail where the prize value is in excess of US$50,000. Tx. Bus. & Comm. Code §§ 621.102, 621.103, 621.104.
Selected States – Recordkeeping Requirements
A number of states require the promoter of the sweepstakes to keep certain records for a period of time.
Florida – Operator must keep winning entries for 90 days after close or completion of game. Fl. Stat. § 849.094(5).
Rhode Island – Operator must maintain records of winners for 6 months following completion of the promotion. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-50-3.
Texas – For certain contests other than a drawing, the offeror must maintain certain records relating to the contest for two years from the date the prize was awarded. Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 621.202.
Selected States – Winners List
States that require registration will also usually require filing of winner's lists. Other states require winner’s lists to be made available on request.
Arizona – Must file winner's list within 10 days for intellectual contests. A.R.S. § 13-3311(B).
Florida – For registered sweepstakes, must file winner’s list for all prizes over US$25 in value within 60 days after final determination of winners. Fl. Stat. §849.094(5) The operator must provide a copy of the list of winners, without charge, upon request of any person. Id.
New York – Must file winner's list for all prize over US$25 in value within 90 days after determination of winners for registered sweepstakes. The promoter must also provide a winner’s list to any person that requests it. N.Y. Gen. Laws § 396-e(5).
Texas – At the end of the contest period, each person who conducts a contest shall provide the names of all major prize winners and the prizes won by each winner to any person who requests. Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 621.204.