In certain states, you must register your text sweepstakes in order to run it in that state. If your sweepstakes falls within certain parameters, registering it is the only way you can run it without risking serious fines in Florida, New York and Rhode Island.
Here is a breakdown of each state’s requirements.
If your text sweepstakes has a total prize Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of $5,000 or more, you have to register it with the state of Florida. You’ll need to submit a copy of the official rules for your sweepstakes, have a surety bond and open a trust account so that the state can be sure the money is available for the prize winner.
These items must all be provided at least 7 days before the start date of your promotion. Once your sweepstakes has ended, you’ll need to send an official winners list to the state of Florida within 60 days or file an extension to extend the deadline for another 60 days.
New York also requires companies to register sweepstakes with prizes of more than $5,000. A surety bond must be obtained in the amount of the prize value.
Register 30 days before the sweepstakes begins and submit a winners list within 90 days after the sweepstakes ends.
Rhode Island has a much lower threshold for registering a sweepstakes. If your company offers prizes valued at $500 or more, you must register the sweepstakes with the state.
But, this only applies to sweepstakes offered at retail establishments in Rhode Island. This means that if an entrant has to go to a brick and mortar retail location to enter, then this sweepstakes must be registered with the state.
Unlike the other states, Rhode Island doesn’t require a surety bond or a winner’s list. Companies are only required to keep information identifying the winners for up to 6 months after the sweepstakes has ended.
Ask a Lawyer
As always, we recommend you seek out legal counsel before running your text sweepstakes to ensure you’re abiding by all of the regulations for your state. If these regulations complicate things for your campaign, you may even want to consider excluding entrants from certain states to keep it simpler.
Sweeppea offers full sweepstakes creation and administration. We’ll take care of all the compliance and legal requirements of running your text sweepstakes.