The State of Florida has amended its law governing games of
chance (F.S. 849), revising certain provisions
including those governing game promotions and sweepstakes run by
retailers and consumer brands, among others. The amendments to
section 849.094, which governs game promotions in connection with
the sale of consumer products or services, clarify that the state
statute only permits games of chance run by commercial entities on
a "limited and occasional basis," for marketing and
advertising purposes "in connection with and incidental
to" the sale of a product or service. The revisions
specifically added sweepstakes to the definition of "game
promotion," and appended the "and incidental to"
language. The definition of "operator" was also expanded
to add "a retailer who operates any game promotion," and
a "corporation, organization, or association or agent"
who promotes, operates, or conducts a "nationally
advertised" game promotion, clarifying that the law governs
both promotions conducted solely within Florida, as well as those
conducted nationally, including within the state. The revised
statute also expressly makes violations of the law a deceptive and
unfair trade practice under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade
The amendments, which also clarify the law's application to
non-profit and other organizations, appear to be Florida's
attempt to clarify that F.S. 849.094 is only applicable to
promotions or sweepstakes conducted by for-profit commercial
entities as an advertising tool, and is "not intended to
provide a vehicle for the establishment of places of ongoing
gambling or gaming."
The amendments were reportedly the result of state and federal
investigations into a group called Allied Veterans of the World,
which was accused of operating gambling centers under the guise of
Internet cafes across Florida. While some of the amendments, which
became effective April 10, 2013, do concern game promotions and
sweepstakes, they do not appear to be an attempt to restrict or
otherwise prevent companies from offering these kinds of
We are continuing to analyze the impact of these amendments and
will reach out in the upcoming days with updates.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The vast majority of Terms of Service (TOS) on websites are unenforceable. Companies spend a great deal of time and money in crafting what they believe to be appropriate website specific TOS which they hope will provide them with the various protections, safe harbors and advantages needed in dealing with the public or in transacting business.
On Tuesday November 4, 2014, social media giant Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter") fully submitted a motion to dismiss a Telephone Consumer Protect Act ("TCPA") class action lawsuit pending against it in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) held its sixth workshop on the Cybersecurity Framework on October 29-30, this time in Tampa, Florida at the University of South Florida. Venable attended the workshop, as it has for all of NIST's previous workshops on the Framework. NIST and White House representatives made it clear that no major revisions to the Framework should be expected in the near future.
Promotional contests and sweepstakes are a terrific marketing tool for businesses. Social media has provided companies with a free and effective way to increase the number of consumers participating in their promotional contests and sweepstakes.