Win A Date With !! – Are You Running an Illegal Lottery ?

imageAre you a cam performer or pornstar that offers his/her fans a chance to “Win a Date With” with you contests ? Do you require that whomever enters the drawing actually buy something from you – a camshow, a DVD, a signed photo – anything of value? Well, if so, you are probably running an illegal lottery.

By requiring that a “purchase is necessary” you are asking someone to buy a ticket with a chance to win by being selected randomly. This is really no different that buying a $1 lottery ticket to be able to win $450 million dollars. Granted, while your date may not be worth $450 million dollars, it does have value. And since it does have value and a purchase is necessary – under most state laws – that is the definition of a lottery. Running an illegal lottery is a felony in most states and punishable by more than a year in state prison.

And if you are doing it via the Internet, on your website or social media accounts, then you might be running an illegal lottery in all 50 states since the offer is open to anyone in any of those states. Lotteries often restricted to citizens of certain states because of this reason.

What other laws might your “Win a Date With” contest be violating ? Obviously, depending on what happens on that date – prostitution. Selling a ticket for a chance to have sex with someone is still prostitution. Most prostitution statutes discuss the exchange of something of value of for sexual gratification. Even though it may be only $20 to buy your DVD, that is still value.

But what if you do not have sex with the contest winner – well that is still considered escorting without a permit/license which may still be a crime. In Los Angeles, there is a local municipal code that states;

LAMC 103.107(b) states “no person shall conduct, manage or carry on any escort bureau without a written permit from the Board. No permit under this section shall be issued to, or in the name of, any organization, group, corporation, partnership or any entity other than an individual person. The business may be advertised and carried on by the permittee under a fictitious name in the manner permitted by law if such fictitious name is first approved by the Board.”

a) Escort Defined. As used in this article, “Escort” means any person who, for a fee, commission, hire, reward or profit, accompanies other persons to or about social affairs, entertainments or places of amusement or consorts with others about any place of public resort or within any private quarters.

(b) Permit Required. No person shall be engaged as an Escort without a written permit from the Board. Such permit shall be issued to the address of the employer.

Even just being a paid companion requires a permit. Giving your time as a reward would also be considered escorting. What is the penalty in Los Angeles if you escort without a license? It is the same as though you were convicted of a prostitution charge. This is how LAPD gets most women caught in prostitution stings. Even if the alleged prostitute does not say she will have sex in exchange for money, merely showing up at a hotel room for a “date” is a violation of LAMC 103.107 and carries the same penalties as a prostitution conviction – up to a year in jail.

Los Angeles is not the only city with escorting laws either. Many cities have laws like the Los Angeles Municipal Code that makes escorting without a license a crime.

So what do you have to do to not run an illegal lottery or violate various prostitution/escorting laws ? There is no easy answer; since it depends where you will offer your drawing, what the prize will be, how will it be awarded, is there a cash value attached – there are many issues to consider.

This is something that I strongly recommend that you discuss with an attorney. You will need to have contest rules drafted. You will need to allow that people can enter without the need for a purchase. You may need to provide the gambling or lottery commission of certain states a copy of your rules and notice that you will be offering the lottery to citizens of their state.

What happens if you dont ? Well again, its more than likely a crime. You might ask yourself how would they ever find out? That could be as easy as phone call from a competitor or “hater” to a state’s lottery commission. Do not allow yourself to be vulnerable to prosecution.

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