This is one of those questions I have often wondered, but never looked
into - until now!
There's a good explanation of the need for and use of the 'Void Where
Prohibited' clause at HowStuffWorks.com (the question relates both
generally, and specifically to the asker's home state of Rhode
Office.com has a great article called "Plan a Successful, Legal
Advertising law expert D. Reed Freeman explains the finer points of
the fine print." It goes into the difference between lotteries,
sweepstakes/games of chance, and games of skill, and explains some of
the reasons for including various legal disclaimers in the rules for
Here's a similar, but more detailed article from the web page of Arent
Fox Attorneys at Law.
Search4Contests.com offers an general overview of state contest law
(with some specific states listed.)
As far as a compilation of state contest law, the best I found was a
post on a UC Davis Law Library board asking the same question, and
respondents referred the asker to several books that compile state
lottery and contest laws.
I have listed them here, as well as online resources for purchase
where applicable, but you will likely be most successful at your local
Here's the list:
- Promotion Marketing Law (available @
http://www.pmalink.org/resources/shopping/publications.asp#7, but it
only appears to be available to members of the Promotion Marketing
- Advertising Compliance Handbook, by Kenneth A. Plevan, Miriam L.
Siroky (available through Amazon.com @
- Advertising the New Media Age (could not find an online purchase
- National Survey of State Laws 2d, (chapter 37) Ed. Richar A.Leiter,
(I could not find a source for this one, but did find it on a
Vanderbilt University Alyne Queener Massey Law Library Research Guide
page. You might find other helpful books there as well.
To learn more about lottery and contest law in a given state or area,
call that state's Lottery and/or Gaming Commission. (If you are
looking for something specific, I'm happy to help!)
I hope this answers your question... please feel free to post a
Request for Clarification if I can be of further assistance, and
thanks again for the question!