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mdmlaw
mdmlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 101
Experience:  25 in general practice representing companies, suppliers, employees
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can people purchase tickets for a drawing to purchase an item

Customer Question

can people purchase tickets for a drawing to purchase an item without violating lottery laws in florida, and if so how can it be accomplished.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

DearCustomer

 

Can you give me more details concerning the purchase and methods?

 

Thank you.

 

Mary

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

purchases would be mostly online, or through the mail. items would not be purchase until enough money is collected to purchase item plus handling. purchasers would be able to view the cash account total and receive an acknowledgment of their purchase. winning ticket will not be chosen by the host of the site. methods for chosing winning ticket may also be put to vote by purchasers. the random pick of the ticket will be viewed online. and any other considerations to make this legal and fair

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

So, people would pay (online or by mail) for a ticket for a sort of raffle of a specific item? Then, the winning ticket is drawn through some method and the winner announced? The item would be purchased after enough tickets are sold to purchase the item? So, the early buyers might have their purchase money refunded if not enough people participated?

 

While you answer/confirm these questions, I'll do some research and get back to you.

 

Mary

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

DearCustomer

 

Did the research and found, unfortunately, that lotteries and raffles in Florida are illegal. There is an exception for a federally registered charity. Otherwise, it is illegal.

 

I have reprinted below the Florida statute concerning this issue.

 

Hope this answers your question.

 

Mary

 

 

The 2008 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 849
GAMBLING
View Entire Chapter

849.09 Lottery prohibited; exceptions.--

(1) It is unlawful for any person in this state to:

(a) Set up, promote, or conduct any lottery for money or for anything of value;

(b) Dispose of any money or other property of any kind whatsoever by means of any lottery;

(c) Conduct any lottery drawing for the distribution of a prize or prizes by lot or chance, or advertise any such lottery scheme or device in any newspaper or by circulars, posters, pamphlets, radio, telegraph, telephone, or otherwise;

(d) Aid or assist in the setting up, promoting, or conducting of any lottery or lottery drawing, whether by writing, printing, or in any other manner whatsoever, or be interested in or connected in any way with any lottery or lottery drawing;

(e) Attempt to operate, conduct, or advertise any lottery scheme or device;

(f) Have in her or his possession any lottery wheel, implement, or device whatsoever for conducting any lottery or scheme for the disposal by lot or chance of anything of value;

(g) Sell, offer for sale, or transmit, in person or by mail or in any other manner whatsoever, any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, or any share in or fractional part of any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, whether such ticket, coupon, or share represents an interest in a live lottery not yet played or whether it represents, or has represented, an interest in a lottery that has already been played;

(h) Have in her or his possession any lottery ticket, or any evidence of any share or right in any lottery ticket, or in any lottery scheme or device, whether such ticket or evidence of share or right represents an interest in a live lottery not yet played or whether it represents, or has represented, an interest in a lottery that has already been played;

(i) Aid or assist in the sale, disposal, or procurement of any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, or any right to any drawing in a lottery;

(j) Have in her or his possession any lottery advertisement, circular, poster, or pamphlet, or any list or schedule of any lottery prizes, gifts, or drawings; or

(k) Have in her or his possession any so-called "run down sheets," tally sheets, or other papers, records, instruments, or paraphernalia designed for use, either directly or indirectly, in, or in connection with, the violation of the laws of this state prohibiting lotteries and gambling.

Provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit participation in any nationally advertised contest, drawing, game or puzzle of skill or chance for a prize or prizes unless it can be construed as a lottery under this section; and, provided further, that this exemption for national contests shall not apply to any such contest based upon the outcome or results of any horserace, harness race, dograce, or jai alai game.

(2) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or paragraph (d) of subsection (1) is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), paragraph (i), or paragraph (k) of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who, having been convicted of violating any provision thereof, thereafter violates any provision thereof is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The provisions of this section do not apply to bingo as provided for in s. 849.0931.

(4) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (h) or paragraph (j) of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who, having been convicted of violating any provision thereof, thereafter violates any provision thereof is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 1, ch. 4373, 1895; GS 3582; RGS 5509; CGL 7667; s. 1, ch. 26765, 1951; s. 1, ch. 67-72; s. 1, ch. 67-435; ss. 1, 2, ch. 69-91; s. 1064, ch. 71-136; s. 168, ch. 83-216; s. 4, ch. 91-206; ss. 4, 6, ch. 92-280; s. 1, ch. 93-160; s. 1359, ch. 97-102; s. 155, ch. 2007-5

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i guess i'm not fully explaining myself. how can a group of people come together, purchase an item or have it bulit. then distribute said item without violating lottery or raffle laws
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the distribution is among the group themselves
Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Hi:

 

It sounds like you are suggesting a sort of partnership among purchasers. For example, 100 people pay $100.00 and with the $10,000 collected you purchase a boat. In that event, 100 people own a share of a boat. In this instance, there is no lottery or gambling involved. The intricacies of how the boat may be used by each owner would have to be worked out. And insurance, and liabilities. And who would hold the legal title? A formal partnership with each payer being a partner?

 

Is this what you mean? Let me know. Sorry if I still have it wrong. In that case, will you provide me with an example, if possible.

 

Thanks.

 

Mary

 

Mary

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Hi again:

 

I'm reading over your prior posts and I note that you write of "winning", so my example of each partner owning the item is probably off the mark.

 

Again, assume those 100 people paid their $100 and a boat was purchased with the $10,000. If the boat was then given to the "winner" through some sort of drawing, then you have participated in a lottery type event, which is outlawed. It is the "chance" aspect which brings it into the statute.

 

Let me know if this is an accurate interpretation of your intent.

 

Thanks.

 

Mary

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

your last reply was what i was intending. so i need to remove the chance aspect of the idea. your mentioning of a corporation maybe interesting. could a partnership be formed and each partners fiscal share be equal to any amount. then could the partnership decide to disolve itself by choosing one to acquire any capital items or proceeds. in essence how can i avoid the "chance" aspect of what i'm trying to do

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Interesting......

 

I don't know how you would get the partners (or shareholders) to give the item to the one person selected, unless it was by an agreement whereby they all agreed to deed over the item to an individual selected by....chance???....(there it is again....I don't know how it can be hidden.)

 

In essence the partners would be deciding in advance to dissolve, without argument, after the individual is selected. Not quite sure how this can be accomplished. What if there is a hold out???

 

I'm not saying there isn't a way...just not sure how to do it. I have heard of people voluntarily auctioning off their homes, with a limited number of auction participants allowed, and an entrance fee to participate. An unreserved auction, meaning that the homeowner can't change their mind. There can be a minimum bid (as on e-bay, if you are familiar.) It's different, though, because the winner pays the entire amount. But it has struck me as sort of a lottery scheme.

 

My idea of the corporation is borrowed from a company which allows people to pay a yearly fee to belong to a club which guarantees them the use of a luxury yacht for a certain period every year. They sort of buy into the yacht ownership (there are many yachts in the club..so the exact boat is not guaranteed).

 

I'll let you know if I think of anything...but nothing comes to mind right now.

 

Mary

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

What if all the individuals in the partnership were chosen by random to form a list with the first individual (not neccessarily the first in the list), to pay an additional $1 given the right to purchase the item from the partnership. (which of course who wouldn't being first in the list)

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.
I think that the "random" selection might turn out to be a draw, like a raffle. Still a game of chance.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

ok, what if there is an active managing partner, and he chose the recipient, without divulging how he chose the person

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Hi:

 

Sorry about the delay.

 

Your proposition is that the investors agree that the active managing partner can select the recipient according to secret criteria. This would be alright in the first blush, because they agreed. However, if questioned, the managing partner would have to come up with a reason for his selection which is not random. And, the investors (consumers) could assert that there was not full disclosure and that, at the time of their purchase, they were afforded no ability to determine the "odds" of their chances to be selected. I believe that it would still be a game of chance...without the consumer being allowed to evaluate the value of the investment....a requirement in most consumer transactions.

 

That's my take on this one.

 

mdmlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 101
Experience: 25 in general practice representing companies, suppliers, employees
mdmlaw and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

sorry about getting back with you. i've been working nite shift and all i do is sleep afterwards. i have the last senario with one last follow up question. What if the participants create a list out of a number of items, say 20. then the list that was created the most, allows those participants to go on. This continues until only 2 participants are left. At this point, i or whomever creates a list of say 10 items. the last two participants will create lists of all the combinations. The first one to match the created list will receive the item/prize. for example participant number one matches the list in 5 combinations. the second in ten combinations. the item will go to participant one. this would then eliminate chance and create a skill type of contest.

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Hi:

 

Nice to hear from you again.....I'm thinking this is probably an interesting idea, but I'm can't quite figure it out. Will you provide and example of how it would work?

 

Thanks.

 

Mary

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

i'll use reduced numbers for the example. say 10 people must put 10 items in order. i'll give just 2 lists. say for the items we have apple, orange, peanut, cherry, plum, grape, bananna, television, car, truck. now 5 people submit this list: car, truck, orange, plum, bananna, apple, peanut, grape, television, cherry. 3 other people submit a different list which they have matched. finally the last 2 have their own unmatching list. the 5 people move on because they were part of a group that matched the most enumerated list made unknowingly of the participants themselves. This continues until two are left. the last two must then create a list of items that either i or someone else makes. whoever matches that list first receives the prize. for example a 5 item list creates 120 unique lists. the one who pens the list first wins. or the last two participants must match the second most popular list created in the beginning. this eliminates element of chance because the lists that are created choses who moves on, rather than a roll of dice or picking a name out of hat

Expert:  mdmlaw replied 5 years ago.

Hi:

 

Sorry I'm just getting back...I was away for a week.

 

Anyways.....it still seems to be a game of chance. There are no guarantees or warranties. My sense is that where you trying to "win" something through your entry so, you are entering a game of chance....maybe there is some skill involved (like poker or another gambling game), but you are not being compensated for your work, but "taking a chance" that you may be compensated. Still doesn't seem like it would work........

 

Mary

 

There is no product for the money...just a possibility of a product.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Mary

No problem on the delay. Last question unless this idea goes somwhere, then I would like to send you another fee. Could I set up an online tournament game. For example, an arcade type game, like hitting the pop up gopher on the head. winning could be done by number of hits or shortest time to hit 100. Or any game that displays any skill. Perhaps even a battleship type of game.

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