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Is this legal?

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    I've recently started up my own business and want to get my name out there through advertising. One way i thought of doing this was to do a 'giveaway' on facebook. I would put up a poster/flyer on my facebook page and say "Share this picture for a chance of winning a free computer!". In small text at the bottom i'd have "Winner will be chosen on xx date. Item must be collected.".

    I've been told that this is illegal because its a lottery/sweepstake, and a few articles online have left me still unsure of the legality so can anyone please comfirm whether this sort of advert would be illegal?
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    It's not a lottery as no one is paying you to enter the competition.

    Therefore, as far as I am aware, it's perfectly legal (so long as you do actually provider the prize as you describe it for the winner to collect).

    Obviously, the best advice would be to "contact a solicitor" - but it's unlikely anyone would take legal action against you, so I would't bother.
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    (Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
    I've recently started up my own business and want to get my name out there through advertising. One way i thought of doing this was to do a 'giveaway' on facebook. I would put up a poster/flyer on my facebook page and say "Share this picture for a chance of winning a free computer!". In small text at the bottom i'd have "Winner will be chosen on xx date. Item must be collected.".

    I've been told that this is illegal because its a lottery/sweepstake, and a few articles online have left me still unsure of the legality so can anyone please comfirm whether this sort of advert would be illegal?
    Here's specific clarification that you don't need a licence:

    http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk..._do.aspx#Prize
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    I talked to my father about it who used to make fruit machines, so he knows a bit about the Gambling Act, and he said it would be illegal because by making people click 'share' to enter the competition i'm effectively selling them a ticket...
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    (Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
    I talked to my father about it who used to make fruit machines, so he knows a bit about the Gambling Act, and he said it would be illegal because by making people click 'share' to enter the competition i'm effectively selling them a ticket...
    It's a "free draw" which means you don't need a licence.

    It doesn't cost people anything to enter - clicking "share" is not the same as "paying".
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    Yeah, it's legal.
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    Yeah its not illegal, gambling act 2005 s14(2)(a) specifies a lottery requires payment. Also, I'd suggest you bulk up your T&C's, to destroy any attempts of someone suing you for damages .

    Also, if it is illegal, at least you won't have to give them the computer!
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    I have heard more than once that this is against Facebook rules to do this on a personal Facebook page and that any competitions or giveaways must be done on a specified business page etc. or a page set up just for the competition. Now I'm not one hundred percent certain, but if I were you I'd email inquiries at Facebook HQ or whatever and find out first. You don't want your page shut down or your IP blocked or anything, especially when Facebook is such a powerful business tool.
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    (Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
    I talked to my father about it who used to make fruit machines, so he knows a bit about the Gambling Act, and he said it would be illegal because by making people click 'share' to enter the competition i'm effectively selling them a ticket...
    I'm not sure that's correct - the gambling laws involve money being paid to make bets or buy "lottery tickets", etc, to win things.

    Might be best to check it out with Facebook though, they may have conditions of use that prevent it and you won't want to fall foul of their rules.
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    (Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
    can anyone please comfirm whether this sort of advert would be illegal?
    It is perfectly legal. It does not fall foul of the Gambling Act nor any other statutory control.

    You may have to check Facebook's position on this though, however I have known people who have run these competitions many times with no trouble.
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    I run a couple of mini businesses.

    Free draws are free. As the name suggests.

    It's only illegal if you're charging people to enter the draw. At which point, it'd only be illegal because you're not declaring income on the draw, and having it monitored by a neutral third party.

    Carry on.

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Updated: April 15, 2012
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