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Florida Changes Sweepstakes Law to Require Only Material Rules in Print Ads

Beginning July 1, print ads for sweepstakes and other games of chance conducted in Florida may contain the “material terms” of the rules, instead of the complete rules, as long as the advertisement contains information for obtaining the full rules.

Florida Senate Bill 552 was signed into law on June 1. The bill amends Fla. Stat. § 849.094(3) by stating that such advertising copy “need only include the material terms of the rules and regulations if the advertising copy includes a web site address, a toll-free telephone number, or a mailing address where the full rules and regulations may be viewed, heard, or obtained for the full duration of the game promotion.” Additionally, such disclosures must be legible. The law applies, as before, to a game promotion in which the total announced value of the prizes offered is greater than $5,000.

Before the enactment of this law, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the agency that regulates games of chance, had interpreted Florida’s sweepstakes statute to require that the full rules be included in all print advertisements.

We have spoken with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who have indicated that they will meet in the next few weeks to issue regulations clarifying what constitutes “material terms.” The agency indicated that they will work with the PMA and other organizations to issue guidance that will be practical for businesses.

Although they did not indicate when they would issue such regulations, it is hoped that they will do so before the law takes effect on July 1.

This client alert is a publication of Loeb & Loeb and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This client alert does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations.

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