How to Register a Sweepstakes in Rhode Island
Maryann Murphy, one of Marden Kane’s Account Executives, is our resident expert in Rhode Island sweepstakes registration. Here is her quick guide for what to do if you have a sweepstakes running there.
When preparing to conduct a Sweepstakes, it is important to be aware of the regulations and laws that are unique to the states where your promotion will be running. One great example of this is the registration requirements that several states enforce. If you read our blog or have worked with us in the past you may already have some knowledge of which States require registration…but if you don’t, no worries – we are here to help!
The state of Rhode Island is one state to keep on your radar if you are running a Sweepstakes, especially if you are a retail business. Rhode Island requires that all games of chance that meet the following criteria be registered with the Secretary of State:
- The promotion is one where a retail establishment offers the opportunity to receive prizes, as determined by chance
- The total value of prizes offered in the promotion is in excess of $500
One important difference from other states’ registration requirements to call out is that the total prize value that triggers registration in Rhode Island is low at only $500 (as opposed to New York and Florida which have a $5,000 total prize value requirement). The other important difference is that Rhode Island only requires registration for promotions run at a retail establishment – so if your promotion is solely online you don’t have to worry about registering in Rhode Island, regardless of the total value or prizes offered.
But keep in mind, like Florida and New York, registration is only required if the element of chance is involved. This means that if you plan to select winners randomly in a drawing and your Sweepstakes meets the criteria listed above, you will need to register. If you are running a Contest where skill and judging criteria are involved, registration is not required.
Registering a Sweepstakes in Rhode Island is a pretty painless process. In order to register, you will need to provide the state with a registration application form, a filing fee and a copy of the final Official Rules for the promotion. There is no bonding or trust account requirement to register the promotion, which makes it a simpler registration to complete.
Rhode Island does not have a concrete deadline for how far in advance the registration materials need to be submitted. However, as a rule of thumb, you should send the documents in as soon as promotion details and Official Rules are finalized, and always make sure the documents arrive to the Office of the Secretary of State prior to the start date of the promotion. After the promotion has ended, there is also no deadline on when to submit a winners list (they actually do not mandate that a winners list be provided to them at the conclusion of a promotion), but they do require that a winners list be available and maintained for a period of at least 6 months after the Sweepstakes in case they wish to review or request this from the Sponsor.
Submitting a registration for your promotion may seem a bit daunting at first, but with our help you can rest assured that this process will be taken care of with ease and accuracy. If you need help, please feel free to contact us and we can get the process going for your next sweepstakes.
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