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MStrisik
MStrisik, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience:  General practitioner; former litigator.
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I know a small amount of information regarding online lotteries,

Resolved Question:

I know a small amount of information regarding online lotteries, contests, and sweepstakes but would like to know more about this particular situation. I am looking to start a blog where I give away items everyday to people who post a comment in the blog. The winner will be chosen at random. However, in order to post a comment and read the blog, you must subscribe and be a member first in order to have access, thus paying a small fee. Would this fee interfere with the daily giveaways and make it a lottery? If you need more information please let me know.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Carlo,

If you set up the fee such that the individual is paying a "membership" or "subscription" fee then you do not need to tie the fee to the giveaway.

Are you giving away cash or goods?

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will be giving away goods, such as ipods, tvs, clothes, gift cards, etc.

However, would I get into legal trouble if people start raising questions as to 'why' they are paying a fee to be a member when the site is only giving away things everyday, and there is no real content other than the daily giveaways?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
I understand your concern.

People would be entering into a contract with you by paying the subscription fee. Period. If you provide them with a website to read/post on in exchange for a fee, then you have an agreement with these people.

I'm posting an article from a law firm about online lotteries:

http://www.ecomputerlaw.com/articles/show_article.php?article=2006_online_sweepstakes

You'll see from the article that it is possible to not create an illegal lottery by this setup.

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So basically in a nutshell, your saying it is okay for me to require people to be a paying subscriber of the blog and I can give away daily prizes to random members and not be caught up in any legal trouble with lotteries?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
<p>Based on the information you have provided, yes, this is what I am suggesting.</p><p> </p><p>Thank you,<br /><br />M. Strisik, Esq.</p>
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What about the fact that an outside agency such as paypal would be handling my subscription payments? Should I consult them to see what I am doing is in agreement with their terms?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Carlo,

Sounds like a good idea to me. Here is the phone number to Paypal's merchant support team:

Call Support: (NNN) NNN-NNNN

And here is the 800 number for customer support:

1(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Good luck.

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the phone number. Would the people who receive these prizes have to pay taxes on them?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

Hi again.

 

Yes.

 

M. Strisik, Esq.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Where would I be able to find someone to write up a bunch of legal information about the contest rules, regulations and terms in order to protect myself and my website?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

I would be happy to do so for you. You can send me a private message through my name below with your email address and I will write you shortly.

 

M. Strisik, Esq.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I can't seem to find the private message box it just brings me to the ask a question page. Could you shoot me an email atXXX@XXXXXX.XXX so I have your email address and I can email you from there?
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

Try xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Thanks,

 

M. Strisik, Esq.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just sent you an email, thanks.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Thank you.
MStrisik, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience: General practitioner; former litigator.
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