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RGMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 16841
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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If I am running an online browser game that offers cash jackpots

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If I am running an online browser game that offers cash jackpots as a top prize for the winners and allows the sale of additional turns to help improve your chances of winning this cash jackpot (but does not require it in order to win), would this be considered gambling?

And if it would not be considered gambling where should I go to get a legal opinion stating this/roughly how much would a written opinion like this cost?
Such additional turns would make this game a game of chance for money, and thus gambling. Generally speaking, games of chance are not illegal under the Federal Wire Act (the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held this), but such a site might be illegal under your state's law. Furthermore, no states are currently granting online gaming licenses, and operating such a site without a license would be illegal.

Unfortunately, your proposed idea would likely not be legal, and thus it would be best to either abandon the idea, or modify the idea that the people purchase a good or service, but get additional turns with each purchase of the good or service. Thus, they are not purchasing the additional turns (which would be gambling), but are purchasing goods, and the turns would be given to them.

I hope that helps. Good luck to you!
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