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Q: Void Where Prohibited ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Void Where Prohibited
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: lexi-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 03 Dec 2002 12:09 PST
Expires: 02 Jan 2003 12:09 PST
Question ID: 118593
The fine print on promotion advertisements always says "Void Where
Prohibited".  How do I find out if the contest or promotion advertised
is prohibited in my area?  In general, is there a way to figure out
what sorts of promotions are prohibited?

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 03 Dec 2002 13:03 PST
Hi lexi,

It would help greatly if you let us know what State/Province you are in.


Clarification of Question by lexi-ga on 03 Dec 2002 14:00 PST
I'm in California, but I was hoping something more general existed too.
Subject: Re: Void Where Prohibited
Answered By: rebeccam-ga on 03 Dec 2002 15:39 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

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 (the question relates both
generally, and specifically to the asker's home state of Rhode
Island.) has a great article called "Plan a Successful, Legal
Sweepstakes -
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. 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 @, 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 @
- Advertising the New Media Age (could not find an online purchase
- National Survey of State Laws 2d, (chapter 37) Ed. Richar A.Leiter,
Gale, 1997.
(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!


Clarification of Answer by rebeccam-ga on 03 Dec 2002 15:45 PST
I nearly forgot to include my search strategy!

The searches that yielded helpful results were:

"void where prohibited" state law
( ://

"void where prohibited" various states
( ://

state contest law
( ://

state gaming laws
( ://

state lottery commissions
( ://

state contest laws
( ://

I also searched for the books included in the answer.
lexi-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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