Why are some contests void in certain states or provinces?

I have always wondered this… I was at a safeway today and bought a can of safeway select cola… there was a promotion in which anyone that uses a safeway club card is automatically entered into a contest to win a million dollars…

except for a handful of american states, and Quebec in Canada.

why is this?

this has always made me curious… why would they have to make a contest invalid in certain places? it has to be state/provincial rules and regulations, as most contests in canada are void in quebec… but since i am in canada, i didnt know of american states doing this before today.

thanks for any help.

Because states, and provinces I suppose, have separate legal structures that produce laws that apply only locally. Laws about sweepstakes/contests/drawings might be written under the mantle of consumer protection, or even so-called “blue laws” that attempt to enforce a morality upon their citizenry. Some states for example, don’t have lotteries, or don’t allow gambling. Or restrict when liquor may be sold. Or don’t allow sweepstakes drawings.

National marketers must track and comply with all these separate laws in order do business in each state. Running such contests is a specialized industry in itself, with companies like DL Blair providing “fulfillment” services for major producers of consumer goods.

I imagine the reason they are banned in Quebec is that they are in English only, although there could be other reasons. Somehow in Quebec, everything seems to revolve around language.

Some states consider a contest which requires a purchase for entry to be a lottery. Some states do not permit alcoholic beverages as prizes. Some states consider the requirement of sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to get an official entry form to be a kind of payment, and do not allow it.

I don’t know the details for sure, but this HAS been covered on the boards somewhere. IIRC, Quebec has a different legal structure than the rest of Canada, yet another thing that makes it “distict” ;). The Regie in charge of gaming and contests (name not coming back to me at the moment) has rules which are quite different from what you find elsewhere, and as a result, a lot of contests are not valid in the province because of the difficulty in setting up the “same” contest in Quebec as is available elsewhere. I seem to recall something about the Regie requireing that a certain percentage of the prize value be given to them, whereas that is not a requirement in other provinces. Therefore, something like a 1 million dollar prize in the ROC would only be a fraction of that to the winner in Quebec (maybe 800 000$ or something). The details are pretty complex, and I don’t really understand them myself, but thats waht I remember. The language issue is just a small barrier - it really isn’t that difficult to translate a contest promotion - in fact, its likely a lot cheaper than hiring the necessary lawyers to sort out what needs to be done in order to make the contest valid in la belle province.

Contests…often US only. Why?
Skill-test for contests
Math aptitude testfor prize claim