Implications of Not Registering a Sweepstakes in Florida

Posted by Jennifer Hibbs on January 21, 2015 in Articles, Consultation, Legal, Social Media, Sweepstakes | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Implications of Not Registering a Sweepstakes in Florida

  1. Bonnie Holmquist says:

    Can sweepstakes companies legally require contestant winners to pay a 1% registration fee for a cash prize over $5,000? Also is it up to the contestant winner or the sweepstakes company to pay the taxes required on a cash prize $5,000?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      The answer to Part I of your question is no. A sponsor cannot legally require any form of fee to participate in a sweepstakes promotion. Doing so changes the legal classification from a sweepstakes to a lottery. It is illegal to run a lottery without a lottery operating license. Licenses are usually available to local authorities, and non-commercial organizations . The value of the prize has no bearing on the question of registration fees. Regarding who pays the taxes; the contestant winner is the party responsible for paying tax on the cash prize.

      There is more to providing a complete answer and possibly a work around for what you are proposing. If you like, send us an email to expert@mardenkane.com to continue the discussion.

  2. Delores Myers says:

    I am very confused. Do I have to register with my state of Florida if I win a prize, under $5000.? Does it have to be done before I win a prize> how do I go about doing it?. If it is over $5000. is the procedure the same, or do I register differently? In other words, must I register with the State regardless of what I win? Please explain.

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      This post is geared towards companies running a sweepstakes, not to consumers that win. Sweepstakes registration is something the people running a sweepstakes (the sponsor) should be doing. A consumer does not have to register with the state of Florida when they win — but their name and address is required to be provided by the sweepstakes sponsor.

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