Is it legal to run an online competition and give away cash prizes in the United States?

Cash prizes will be $1000. Also, are minors allowed to collect this prize or can their parents vouch for them? Additionally, if the first try for the competition is free, and then I charge a small fee, is that illegal?

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Business Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Based upon what you have written about you will need to consult with the laws of each state and county to do what you desire. Each state has its own laws on the subject and each county as well. Based upon what you have written about your venture may be deemed an illegal gambling operation under vatious state laws. I suggest that you consult with an attorney in your locality on the subject. One can be found on

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