IMGL Magazine April 2022

Consumer protection

entry, including outer-mailing envelope must be handwritten. No mechanically reproduced entries or metered mail permitted. Statements contained in mail- in entries will not be judged but must be unique. Another questionable ploy is to “limit one entry per envelope” for non-paying participants, where paying customers can receive multiple entries on a single purchase or paid entry. In one of the more egregious examples, a person could buy 14,000 entries for $700, but if they wanted the same number of free entries, they would need to send in 14,000 separate envelopes (which cost 58 cents each or a total of $8,120). Instead, state law should provide that a non- paying customer should receive with a single entry the same number of entries as the maximum number of entries that a paying customer can get in a single transaction.

Most social media platforms are not policing their content to ensure that the raffles offered make more than minimal efforts to appear legally compliant. This is the opposite of the due diligence that often accompanies developers’ efforts to get their social gaming apps into the popular app stores. It is confusing how one sector of an industry (social media) can take such a different approach from another (app stores). Yet, the potential legal liability for aiding an unlawful lottery is the same in both cases. Moreover, it is equally perplexing that states with lotteries and other forms of legal gambling are not proactive in protecting their industries and citizens from unregulated gambling. A single letter from a state attorney general would suffice to end the most egregious practices in many cases. However, a better solution would be to agree on a model act.

Anthony Cabot is Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at the William S Boyd School of Law at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is a founder and past president of the IMGL

IMGL Magazine • April 2022 • 37

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