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Prepare your sweepstakes for the FIFA World Cup

Licensing Solicitors, Poppleston Allen, share tips and advice for the biggest sporting event of 2022

Trophy in a field representing article on sweepstakes for Fifa World Cup

The FIFA World Cup kicks-off on 20 November and with both England and Wales competing to go all the way, now is the time to start thinking about the regulations behind showing football matches within your sweepstakes.

Pubs that are recent converts to social media and email marketing need to be careful if they are planning to hold sweepstake events for this year’s World Cup.

Sweepstakes are a type of lottery, which means customers pay to enter and gain the chance to win a prize based on chance. Typically, pubs will run such contests as customer lotteries, which are exempt from the usual rules set out by the Gambling Commission for lottery operations.

However, there are still strict rules about how customer lotteries are operated and one of these pertains to advertising. Pubs planning to hold a sweepstake for the World Cup – or any other event for that matter – are not allowed to advertise this at their business premises.

They are not allowed to advertise it online or send customers text messages or emails about it, so inclusion on the Facebook page or customer mailshot would fall foul of the rules. Advertising is also restricted to a single premises, so cross marketing across a chain of pubs is also prohibited.

Advertising aside, there are a number of other rules that licensed outlets must follow when planning customer lotteries, including that all tickets must be allocated by chance and that all proceeds from ticket sales must be distributed as prizes, less deductions for reasonable expenses.

Tickets must be the same price and can only be sold to customers while they are in the pub. Tickets must be sold by management (not an external promoted) and they must show details of the organiser/premises and the price on the ticket, as well as stating that tickets are not transferrable.

The maximum value of a prize cannot exceed £50, though there can be more than one prize if a higher amount is taken in via ticket sales. Services can also be provided and as an example, a £50 meal voucher could be won. However, if the meal will only cost the business £30, the additional £20 should be used for other prizes.

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