Sunday, May 30, 2021

Get Your Draws On

Summer time, and the drawings are easy. Or are they? 

Disclaimers first, which is always a good policy. I am not a doctor, not a lawyer, and do not have stock or any other interest in United Airlines or CVS. I do have a tiny holding in Kroger stock. I have run promotional free draws in the past, with very good legal advice, in order to promote my books. 

The random draws were not, in my opinion, particularly valuable for selling my books, partly because, to be legal, a sweepstakes cannot require a purchase or any valuable consideration.  With "Insufficient Mating Material" we had a poorly concealed chess piece drawn into the cover art. Contestants could see the cover without buying the book, and I am sure they did.

For a draw, sweepstakes, lottery, free raffle etc to be legal, the organizer has to post the full rules somewhere; the start and end times and dates have to be public; the prize must be specified; the process for the randomness of the selection of the winner(s) has to be explained; if there is some skill or activity in order to qualify, it must be set forth; it must be clearly stated that contestants are not required to purchase or do anything beyond filling out the entry form and submitting it in one of at least two methods; more than one method of submitting an entry must be advertised and permitted. 

"No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited." These six words are absolutely vital.

Legal opinion seems to be divided on whether or not a requirement to follow someone on a social media platform (or blog) or to subscribe to a newsletter, or to join a free membership or loyalty program counts as a "valuable consideration".
Legal blogger Irwin Mitchel LLP, writing for a British audience, offers some very thorough advice on private lotteries, incidental lotteries, free draws, for profit draws, customer draws, raffles and such extreme draws as raffling off ones house for one British pound sterling.

The original is an aws document, and for some reason, the url changes, so it is probably better to click the link on the lexology page.

Blogging on Gambling Law, for the USA law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, Sonia Church Vermeys, Erin Elliott, and Marckia L Hayes discuss gambling in Nevada.

One has to log in to Lexology to read it:

Not all the BHFS LLP articles are for Lexology pro members only, so it is worth clicking through for some interesting info on igambling, lotteries, and sports betting.

And also, on mandates for experimental vaccines:

Which all wraps up nicely with the current proliferation of sweepstakes to incentivize what (so far) cannot be mandated:

CVS vaccination sweepstakes:

Kroger vaccination sweepstakes:

United Airlines vaccination sweepstakes:  Unvaccinated may also enter.
United Airlines' Probably Exemplary Terms and Conditions:
Be sure to read all the terms and conditions, and especially remember those all-important six words: "No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited."

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

All the best,

Rowena Cherry, SPACE SNARK™

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