*This post will be aimed at bloggers specifically. Apologies*
Ignorance is not a legal excuse. The giveaways we blogger run are legally called sweepstakes. That’s the category they fall under, and daily I see tweets from bloggers promoting their giveaways and when I visit their site it’s yet another illegal giveaway that could have them facing fines or other legal penalties. Please I beg you, please become more educated. If you participate in a group giveaway by donating a prize etc. but didn’t organize it, you are still liable.
I’ll tell you the dead giveaway *pardon the pun* that it is illegal: mandatory entries. Legally a sweepstakes can not have purchase necessary entries, and under the law, the requirement of liking/following/leaving a comment etc. *basically use of your time* constitutes a ‘purchase necessary’ or consideration entry, and that places you in the illegal lottery catergory. Therefore, if you see mandatory entries, chances are other laws are also being broken.
For instance, in Canada in addition to the no mandatory entries law, you must include a skill testing mathematical question as one of the entries. That’s why you’ll see on my giveaways the option to enter by answering 5+5= *or something similar* It has to be skill testing and it has to be included as part of the no purchase necessary entry options.
Weird, I know, but I’m not here to question the law right now, I’m here to plead with you to please educate yourself because a blog and giveaway is not worth getting fined or facing fraud charges. Please, please, educate yourself as to the laws and the the risks you face.
It took me a few months of research and education to become confident enough to start offering sweepstakes on my site again. Being educated makes me know that I’m not going to faces charges because of my blog.
Please read your federal laws.
*Update: Upon further investigation, I’ve learned that anyone who enters these giveaways runs the risk of facing illegal gambling charges!*