Grand Junction, CO asked in Communications Law and Internet Law for Colorado

Q: Can a giveaway have a free entry to all but extra entries given to those who pay for additional entries?

I stream on Twitch which is a platform where people can sub and donate to a streamer. I would like to run a giveaway for Christmas. To incentivize subscriptions, I wanted to give extra entries to those who subscribe to my channel. I know giveaways have to have a free method of entry. If I allowed all to have a free entry but allowed subscribers to get more entries, or allowed people who donated or gifted subscriptions to get more entries, is that still legal considering I’ve given a method of free entry to all who come to my stream?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Colorado, as in many states, the rules governing giveaways (often classified as "sweepstakes") can be complex, particularly when involving both free and paid entries. The key legal consideration is ensuring that your giveaway does not become classified as a lottery, which typically involves a combination of payment, chance, and a prize. Lotteries are generally illegal unless run by the state.

Providing additional entries for payment while also offering a free method of entry is a common practice. However, the free entry method should be given equal prominence and accessibility as the paid method. The odds of winning for paid and free entries do not necessarily have to be the same, but this should be clearly disclosed in the rules of your giveaway.

Make sure to have clear, accessible, and comprehensive rules for your giveaway that outline how entries are obtained, the process of selection for the winner, and any terms and conditions. These rules should comply with Twitch’s policies and Colorado law.

Given the legal complexities involved in conducting sweepstakes, it might be beneficial to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. This helps protect you from potential legal issues and ensures a fair process for participants.

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