July 29, 2002
PAYING AN ENTRY FEE TO PLAY A GAME OF SKILL THAT OFFERS PRIZES
By: Dan Duffy, Principal Analyst
You asked if state law prohibits paying an entry fee to play an Internet game of skill, such as chess, that requires participants to pay an entry fee and offers prizes.
The law does not prohibit a participant from paying an entry fee or participating in a game of skill, such as chess, even if the contest offers prizes.
The law does place restrictions on advertising such contests. It prohibits advertising a game of skill in which the prize has a fair market value of more than $ 200 if the participants are (1) required to pay an entry or judging fee or (2) solicited to purchase a good or service designed to help them win the contest (CGS § 42-298). The law creates an exception by allowing the contest organizers to require participants to purchase a good or service if the contest is designed primarily as a promotion.