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Is this a legal "Contest" in the US?

Brooklyn, NY |
Filed under: Gaming law

Can the speed and timing of a an entry to a "contest" be considered a "skill", therefore offsetting the Consideration aspect of a lottery.

E.g.

If there is a theoretical countdown to a private contest opening, and the winner is the person that hits a theoretical button the fastest, can you charge for entry to this theoretical "contest?" This seems similar to a carnival game or arcade, no?

Now, if you take the radio station model, apply it to our theoretical contest and say, "The 100th person to hit the button wins," could you still charge entry to this contest?

I understand that lottery laws vary. I am asking about US, only, and not about places where contests are prohibited.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. If you charge for entry in a contest, you are probably violating federal and/or state gaming law. Radio stations which run contests to not charge for entry.

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