CHAPTER 743n

SWEEPSTAKES

Table of Contents

Sec. 42-295. Definitions.

Sec. 42-296. Sweepstakes. Restrictions on advertisements.

Sec. 42-297. Required disclosures.

Sec. 42-298. Games of skill. Restriction on advertisement.

Sec. 42-299. Simulated checks. Restricted use.

Sec. 42-300. Unfair trade practice.

Sec. 42-301. Sweepstakes or promotional drawing. Restrictions. Violations. Exceptions.

Secs. 42-302 to 42-309. Reserved


Sec. 42-295. Definitions. As used in sections 42-295 to 42-301, inclusive:

(1) “Advertise” means the use of the media, mail, computer, telephone or personal contact to offer: (A) To a specifically named person the opportunity to participate in a sweepstakes and such offer represents that (i) such person has been awarded a prize, (ii) such person will be awarded a prize, or (iii) there is a strong likelihood, as determined pursuant to regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection in accordance with chapter 54, that such person will be awarded a prize; or (B) a game of skill and such offer represents that (i) a participant will be awarded a prize, or (ii) there is a strong likelihood, as determined pursuant to such regulations, that a participant will be awarded a prize;

(2) “Consumer product” means any article used primarily for personal, family or household purposes;

(3) “Person” means an individual, corporation, association, partnership or any other entity;

(4) “Prize” includes, but is not limited to, an award, gift certificate, travel coupon or anything else of value regardless of whether there are any conditions or restrictions attached to the receipt of the prize that is separate and distinct from the goods, services or property promoted by the sponsor and that is offered or awarded to a participant in a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing;

(5) “Promoter” means a person conducting a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing on behalf of a sponsor;

(6) “Simulated check” means a document which looks similar to a check but is not currency or a check, draft, note, bond or other negotiable instrument;

(7) “Sponsor” means a person whose primary business is the sale of goods, services or property and who authorizes a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing to be conducted to promote or advertise goods, services or property of that person;

(8) “Sweepstakes” means a legal contest, competition, scheme, plan or game that (A) is conducted by a sponsor or promoter for advertising or promotional purposes related to the sale of goods, services or property where a prize is distributed by lot or by chance, and (B) does not require a permit or license to operate in the state;

(9) “Verifiable retail value” means: (A) A price at which a substantial number of the prizes have sold at retail in the local market no earlier than one year prior to the advertisement of the sweepstakes by a person other than the promoter or sponsor; (B) if the prize is not available for retail sale in the local market, the retail value of an item substantially similar to the prize in quality, quantity, grade and utility; or (C) if the value cannot be established under subparagraph (A) or (B) of this subdivision, no more than three times the cost of the prize to the promoter or sponsor;

(10) “800 number” means a prefixed telephone number for which no charge is assessed;

(11) “Simulated gambling device” means any mechanically, electrically or electronically operated machine, network, system or device that (A) is intended to be used by an entrant to a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing, (B) displays a simulated gambling display on a screen or mechanism, and (C) is owned, leased or otherwise possessed by a sponsor or a promoter, or any partners, affiliates, subsidiaries or contractors thereof; and

(12) “Simulated gambling display” means visual or aural information that takes the form of actual or simulated gambling or gaming play, including, but not limited to, a video poker game or any other kind of video playing card game, a video slot machine, a video game based on or involving the random or chance matching of different pictures, words, numbers or symbols, a video bingo game, a video craps game, a video keno game or a video lotto game.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 6; P.A. 98-187; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 14-217, S. 201.)

History: P.A. 98-197 redefined “advertise” in Subdiv. (1); June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 14-217 added reference to Sec. 42-301, redefined “prize” in Subdiv. (4), redefined “promoter” in Subdiv. (5), redefined “sponsor” in Subdiv. (7), redefined “sweepstakes” in Subdiv. (8), added Subdiv. (11) defining “simulated gambling device”, added Subdiv. (12) defining “simulated gambling display”, and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 42-296. Sweepstakes. Restrictions on advertisements. No person may advertise a sweepstakes if there is any condition or restriction attached to the receipt of any prize a person wins in the sweepstakes, unless the condition or restriction to claim the prize is through any method which does not require any purchase, payment of a fee or any other consideration, such as (1) a telephone call in the participant’s extended local calling area, (2) a telephone call to an 800 number, or (3) a visit to a retail establishment in the local marketing area which does not require the participant to attend a sales presentation. For purposes of this section, completing publicity or liability releases, eligibility affidavits or assuming liability for federal, state or local taxes, federal, state or local licenses or registration fees or other similar costs does not constitute a condition or restriction.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 7.)

Sec. 42-297. Required disclosures. (a) A person advertising a sweepstakes in this state shall disclose in immediate proximity to and in at least the same size and face type as the description of each prize in the advertisements: (1) The verifiable retail value of such prize; (2) if the element of chance is involved, the odds of winning such prize, expressed in arabic numerals as a fraction or ratio or, if the odds depend upon the number of entries received, a statement that the odds depend upon the number of entries received; and (3) whether the receipt of the prize is restricted or qualified in any way, including, but not limited to, travel dates or times, classes of travel or airlines, provided the person advertising the sweepstakes may include a statement substantially similar to the following: “major restrictions may apply to the use, availability or receipt of this prize” and include the specific rules or restrictions in a separate statement in the advertisement.

(b) A person advertising a sweepstakes in this state shall clearly and conspicuously disclose the following information: (1) The name and address of the promoter and the sponsor of the sweepstakes; and (2) any conditions or restrictions on the eligibility to receive the prize, including, but not limited to, age, residence, employment or marital status.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 8.)

Sec. 42-298. Games of skill. Restriction on advertisement. No person shall advertise a game of skill where a prize with a fair market value of over two hundred dollars is awarded to a winner if participants are required to pay an entry or judging fee or are solicited to purchase a good or service designed to assist the participant in winning the game of skill provided the participant may be required to purchase a consumer product or service if the game of skill is designed primarily to promote such product or service.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 9.)

Sec. 42-299. Simulated checks. Restricted use. No person may distribute or otherwise transfer a simulated check in connection with a sweepstakes in this state unless the simulated check clearly and conspicuously bears the phrase “THIS IS NOT A CHECK” diagonally printed on the face of the check.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 10.)

Sec. 42-300. Unfair trade practice. A violation of sections 42-295 to 42-299, inclusive, shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b.

(P.A. 96-196, S. 11.)

Sec. 42-301. Sweepstakes or promotional drawing. Restrictions. Violations. Exceptions. (a) No person shall conduct or promote a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing authorized by the provisions of section 53-278g that (1) is not related to the bona fide sale of goods, services or property, or (2) uses a simulated gambling device.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty for professional gambling, as provided in subsection (b) of section 53-278b.

(c) Any simulated gambling device used in a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing shall be deemed a common nuisance and be subject to seizure, as provided in section 53-278c.

(d) Any premises used for a sweepstakes or a promotional drawing in violation of the provisions of this section shall be deemed a common nuisance and shall be subject to the provisions in section 53-278e.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a retail grocery chain from conducting or promoting a sweepstakes that uses a simulated gambling device, provided such sweepstakes is related to the sale of groceries, the prize is not redeemed or redeemable for cash and the prize is only used as a discount to reduce the price of items purchased from such retail grocery chain. For the purposes of this section, “retail grocery chain” means an operator or franchisor of five or more retail establishments whose primary business is the sale of groceries.

(P.A. 14-217, S. 202.)

History: P.A. 14-217 effective July 1, 2014.

Secs. 42-302 to 42-309. Reserved for future use.