Online sweepstakes can be a great tool to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website, but you can easily run afoul of Illinois sweepstakes law. Getting legal advice from an experienced sweepstakes administrator can help you avoid legal problems that could ruin your promotion.

This is where National Sweepstakes Company can help. At NSC, we know sweepstakes and contest laws and will guide you through the process to ensure you stay within the parameters of state and federal laws.

Taking your products or services to a broader audience can be an effective way to reach more consumers, but these contests are governed by regulatory agencies. We will guide you through complex legal obligations when planning and executing online sweepstakes and contests by bringing you innovative solutions and professional counsel.

The following information can help you when planning and conducting sweepstakes and contests in Illinois.


A sweepstakes is defined as an opportunity for someone chosen at random to win a prize. The sweepstakes must disclose certain material terms via the official rules and legal disclaimers and aim to deliver the prize to the winner within 30 days of selection.

To conduct a lawful sweepstakes, you must comply with federal and local rules. According to Illinois law, for example, you must specify that no purchase is necessary to enter. In addition, winners are required to pay taxes on the prize, and the sponsor must issue a 1099 federal tax form to the winner for any prize worth more than $600.

Firearms may only be offered as prizes in a sweepstakes when ownership is transferred through a federally licensed firearms dealer to the winner. Our team of legal experts can walk you through the possible liability involved in awarding potentially “dangerous” prizes such as firearms and share ways to minimize potential risk.


Online contests are increasingly becoming a powerful tool for marketing services and goods through social media and elsewhere. A contest is similar to a sweepstakes in that their our prizes to be won, but each offer different requirements of entry and winner determination.

Illinois law indicates that for a contest to be legal, the sponsor must award a prize based on skill. Entry fees may be looked at on a case by cases basis.

Why Choose National Sweepstakes Company

Understanding and complying with the laws of each state and federal agency can make it difficult to organize a sweepstakes or contest, but NSC’s experience can protect your business in these often murky areas of digital and internet marketing.

Staying within the parameters of the law for advertising campaigns safeguards you and your consumer while giving you a way to build your business and your brand. Having savvy legal counsel can minimize regulatory investigations and potential litigation.

We will work hard on your behalf to ensure that your sweepstakes and contests operate securely within the confines of federal and Illinois sweepstakes law. Navigating an online promotion can be complicated, so utilizing the expertise of an experienced agency and attorney is a prudent choice that can save you from making costly legal mistakes. To work with our team of experts, call the National Sweepstakes Company team today at 888-744-3217.

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