If you have been paying attention to news stories over the past few years, especially if you live in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina or in some areas of California, you have probably heard a lot about internet sweepstakes. Elsewhere in the country, these businesses are legal and internet sweepstakes software companies are working hard to keep great games coming. However, these internet sweepstakes software companies are also working to get legal software into states where they have been banned. In order to realize why this is so important to so many people, it is important to understand why this software is legal.
Gambling Vs. Sweepstakes
Many people claim that internet sweepstakes games are gambling, but they would be incorrect in that assumption. In order for any activity to be considered gambling, by law, it needs to have three different parts. There has to be a prize, there has to be chance and there has to be a consideration. Both gambling and sweepstakes have prizes, that is true. They also both have chance, as there is a bit of a random element in all of these games. Consideration means that a person who is engaging in this activity pays money that will directly get you into the game. This is the difference…internet sweepstakes games do not have consideration…and that is how they can remain legal, even in states where gambling isn’t.
How Does it Work Then?
Everyone is familiar with sweepstakes. For instance, one of the most well known is the McDonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes. You don’t actually buy the game pieces for this sweepstakes, you buy the food and when you buy the food, you get a free entry into the game. The same exact concept is used in internet gaming sweepstakes. No one can purchase an entry into the sweepstake, but they can purchase time on a computer, time on the internet or time on a long distance phone line. With the purchase of these products, they are given entries into a sweepstake, just like a Monopoly piece. In order to find out if you win, you use the service, like you would eat your hamburger at the fast food restaurant.
This type of sweepstakes is no different than any other one out there, it is just presented in a unique way.