So, you want to host a big giveaway event at your location? That sounds like a great idea! It’s an interactive way to promote your establishment and its video slot machines. Hosting a raffle or sweepstakes at your Illinois video gaming location is also an excellent way to increase traffic and gather guests’ information, all while giving back to your loyal customers and gamers! But before you take any steps to start the process, we need to go over some vital information to ensure everything involved remains valid and legal.

There are a handful of considerations when planning and conducting your giveaway at your bar, restaurant, establishment, and Illinois video gaming location. Let’s take a look at what you need to know and the actions you need to take before you get the ball rolling.

A Raffle is Not the Same As a Sweepstakes

Raffles raise money through the selling of tickets, which are drawn at random to determine a winner. Whoever has the winning ticket receives a specified prize.

Companies generally host raffles for fundraisers and other similar events, but Illinois law has numerous restrictions on these drawings. The Raffles and Poker Runs Act states an organization must secure a government issued license prior to holding any type of event with a raffle.

These licenses are only available to non-profit organizations (charities, veteran programs, schools, religious institutions, etc.). Even when a non-profit is able to obtain the necessary paperwork, there are still restrictions on the cost per raffle ticket and how much the prizes can be worth.

Whatever proceeds are made from these raffles is required to go directly to the organization holding the event and not to any personal parties. It is highly unlikely that a non-charity, such as a bar or a restaurant with video slot machines, would be able to obtain a raffle permit. Therefore, it would be illegal for most Illinois video gaming locations to conduct a raffle.

Conduct a Sweepstakes Instead

Alternatively, Illinois video gaming locations with video slot machines may host a sweepstakes. This is a legal and viable option for any bar, restaurant, arcade, or establishment so long as the primary sweepstakes rules and regulations are properly created and adhered to. An illegal lottery (or raffle) becomes a sweepstakes when one of the following elements are eliminated:

  • Prize – Anything of value to be awarded to the winner(s).
  • Chance – A process of randomly selecting a victor.
  • Consideration – The form of entry to the contest, either by monetary or non-monetary means.

“Consideration” will usually be eliminated to increase participation in a drawing for a prize rather than a game of skill. This can be done by allowing anyone that’s eligible to enter for free, or by adding a free method of entry into the sweepstakes.

Set the Sweepstakes Rules

To continue down the legal pathway toward your sweepstakes with Awesome Hand Gaming, it’s important to distribute the rules to those who wish to participate at your Illinois video gaming location. Let’s take a look at a few of the key things to point out when establishing the sweepstakes rules.

1. Procedures

This should include eligible entry dates and times, as well as the entry methods people can use to join the sweepstakes at your Illinois video gaming location.

2. Sponsorship

Whether this is you or a third-party, the name and address of the event sponsor must be clearly listed on the rules.

3. No Purchase Necessary

This is legal jargon that must be included somewhere within the rules for participation.

4. Drawing Details

Along with the entry dates, you must note who will conduct the drawing(s), where the drawing(s) will occur, and when the drawing(s) will take place. Share key details such as whether participants must be present to win the prize.

5. Eligibility

You must include any restrictions for age, employee eligibility, and whether or not family members are able to participate.

6. Prizes

Here you will list the odds of winning, any and all available prizes, estimated prize values, and how the winner(s) collect the prize(s). You should also mention if participants are responsible for shipping/handling fees involved in delivering the prize.

7. Use of Disclosed Information

This section essentially discloses to the participants that their disclosed information will be treated as non-confidential, alongside the reasons the event sponsors will use that disclosed information during the sweepstakes and after it’s completed. Without this section, information must remain confidential.

8. Facebook Disclosure

Similar to the use of disclosed information, this will list basic details about Facebook confidentiality and disclosure, and will relieve Facebook of any association with the sweepstakes.

9. Miscellaneous

Use this area to list any additional rules and to state that both the sponsor and any participants are bound to each of these regulations.

Be sure to take a look at our example of sweepstakes rules. You can also review the specific wording used in the Raffle and Poker Runs Act to ensure your event doesn’t fall into this illegal category.

Need More Info About Running a Sweepstakes?

Do you have more questions about what qualifies as a sweepstakes or what the rules are? Would you like to host a sweepstakes at your bar, restaurant, or establishment to promote your video slot machines? Give us a call at (847) 704-7612 to learn more about the rules and regulations you must follow. Our team can assist you in setting up your own sweepstakes and helping you come up with marketing ideas that will boost traffic to the event.

Contact us to learn more about how to host a sweepstakes at your establishment.