Rhode Island is the third US state that requires sponsors to submit certain chance promotions to the state for registration before the promotion goes live. New York and Florida also impose registration and bond requirements for games of chance.
Defining Game of Chance
Like New York and Florida, Rhode Island’s requirement to file a promotion in the state when it meets certain terms is only applicable if the promotion is a chance promotion, meaning that entrants enter the promotion for free for the chance to win a prize awarded at random.
Retail chance promotions with a prize pool valued over $500 must be registered in the state. A retail promotion is any promotion run locally within the state at a brick-and-mortar location. Whether the entrant is entering the promotion at a retail store or online, the registration requirement still applies if the sponsor has a retail outlet in the state and is offering the giveaway to Rhode Island residents with a prize pool over $500.
Unlike New York and Florida, Rhode Island does not require a bond nor a winners list after the promotion has ended. However, sponsors are required to maintain a list of all winners with prizes in excess of $25 for a period of at least six months from the promotion’s end date, after which they can be destroyed.
The official rules of the sweepstakes must be posted conspicuously in the retail establishment and be made easily available for a customer should they request to review the rules. Sponsors cannot mislead entrants in any way with respect to the advertising of the promotion.
In addition to state laws, other federal laws apply to all games of chance. These laws may impose restrictions on how certain elements of your sweepstakes are structured, including, but not limited to:
- The type of brand sponsoring the promotion: Certain industries, such as the financial, alcohol, and tobacco industries may have additional requirements or ban sweepstakes altogether depending on how they are structured.
- The audience you are advertising to: The federal government has strict requirements on how and who you advertise to, including the information you collect and ways in which you share that information with the public. Marketing to minors is a slippery slope and carries very specific requirements to protect children under the age of 18.
- The channels and mediums through which you are conducting the sweepstakes: Whether you’re running your sweepstakes on social media, via text message, online, or direct mail, each individual medium has its own requirements that must be adhered to.
We’ll help you register your promotion in the state of Rhode Island and ensure that all additional state and federal laws are adhered to. Give us a call at (888) 744-3217 or submit a quote request here for a response within 24 hours or less!