Running a World Cup sweepstake is ILLEGAL

4 June 2010

Paul Parker: Looking worried about your sweepstake

Have you done a World Cup sweepstake at work? Gutted that you landed New Zealand whilst that bloke who doesn't even like football from HR got Germany? It doesn't matter because you're all criminals.

The Gambling Act outlaws lotteries and unlicensed betting, but there are exceptions. If your sweep randomly allocates teams to people, then you're running an illegal lottery.

"The Gambling Act does not explain what is meant by a single set of premises, but Gambling Commission guidance indicates this was intended for the situation where there are multiple buildings on a single site, and that it is not meant to cover multiple sites," said Susan Biddle via The Reg. "So if you have premises on more than one site, you would not be able to run a single sweepstake across more than one of your sites."

The law says that tickets must be in the form of a document and state: the name and address of the promoter; the group of people who are eligible to buy tickets; that the ticket (and the right to any winnings) is not transferrable; and the price of the ticket.

The exemption also only applies if no profits are made from the sweep and 100% of funds are paid out as prizes.

If you're weird and choose your teams as a prediction for who'll win, then this competition would be classed as 'betting' under the Gambling Act. To fall within this exception the betting must take place between people who are all employed by the same employer.

So. Susan Biddle is on hand.... but worry not because:

a) She's produced a free guidance on the issue to enable you to avoid legal bother, which you can read here.

b) Like anyone gives a shit anyway. A World Cup sweepstake is little more than an adult version of coiny. The police aren't going to raid your office and club you to death or anything (unless you live in London. I wouldn't put anything past The Met).



  • Chris
    "The exemption also only applies if no profits are made from the sweep and 100% of funds are paid out as prizes." So running a sweepstake at work isn't illegal then...
  • i f.
    Stupid article.
  • Steve J.
    In other news, have u heard about Ferdinand?
  • Nobby
    > If your sweep randomly allocates teams to people, then you’re running an illegal lottery. Well mine doesn't fall foul of the law then :-D So I can feel good about fixing it.
  • crap
    these articles get worse by the day
  • The B.
    "In other news, have u heard about Ferdinand?" Ferdinand the bull? Don't tell me he's dead? Oh well, he had a good innings,75 years, a book and a film made about him, the irony is that he won't be able to smell the flowers at his funeral. RIP Ferdinand.
  • Carl
    I drew Slovakia at work, the boss got Germany and my superior got Italy. All the admin staff got the best teams. It's a fix, I tell ya!
  • Jake
    "b) Like anyone gives a shit anyway." - Why write about it then?
  • robstar
    I drew Italy, although the squad seems old and not one star player
  • mike
    what the hell is coiny?
  • dunfyboy
    Did you know that if you have a tea club at work, you're meant to keep accounts?
  • jonny
    This article just seems to by copy and pasted. THe third paragraph does not fit in without an explanation?
  • Mr. B.
    The Gambling Act and Statute LAW. What do people do in soap-operas on TV? They ACT. Its all an ACT. The LAW is not LAW. It is given the force of LAW by consent of the Governed. If consent is not given then we live in a tyranny. Besides the Government hates competition! LOL Before a LAW is made LAW it begins life as a BILL. Which is....anyone...anyone....anyone....a negotiable instrument OR a CHEQUE. Which is purchased by the banksters and enforced by policy officers. Are we learning yet?
  • (jah) w.
    I guess coiny is what the puffy kids called chucksies. You know, couple of kids throw (chuck) a coin at a wall, and whoever gets closest to the wall keeps the money. Sort of like curby, but with coins.
  • 555
    "The exemption also only applies if no profits are made from the sweep and 100% of funds are paid out as prizes." That is pretty much every every sweepstake. Your article is superfluous.
  • James D.
    The theiving cunts have copy/pasted this article from The Register and not given them due credit.
  • Wonky H.
    Yet again another harsh post from James, I bet he is some tree hugging bath dodging cyclist who punches small children when using a PEDESTRIAN crossing on his bike because he can't be arsed to stop at a red lights.
  • -]
    I bet he's a SUV driving, petro-chemical "soap" using middle-class wankstain who can only be arsed to stop at a red lights because it gives him an opportunity to punch small children. Just like most of BWs readers then.
  • Wonky H.
    I think he's both. What a cunt.
  • The B.
    Glad it's you this time, I used to nag them about lifting Reg articles all the time but frankly you always list to moderators.
  • The B.
    Lose, I'm drunk, nice day though.
  • Andy D.
    Children, there's a link to The Reg included in the story. I've checked the edit history and it's been there all the time.
  • Mike H.
    Are you trying to say that HR are nothing but a bunch of lucky Nazis with no friends? You'd be right.
  • Watch G.
    There is better than watching the World Cup with a cold one

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