Running a competition

Hi – I want to run a competition on my website, where each week I’ll give a prize (one of my photography products) to the person who sends the best photo on a particular theme.  The theme will change from week to week.  A friend (not a lawyer) told me that I had to be careful with competitions, to make sure they aren’t illegal lotteries.  Is that right?

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Alasdair Taylor's Answer

A competition can sometimes amount to an illegal lottery.  Under UK gambling legislation, a prize competition is likely to be counted as a lottery if there is no free entry route and the competition doesn’t involve any real exercise of skill.  On the basis of the information you have provided, it doesn’t sound like your competition would be an illegal lottery.

You should prepare a set of rules for the competition, taking into account of the CAP rules on prize competitions.  See, in particular:

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