Sweepstakes must be approved to ensure that they are compliant with known regulations. This helps safeguard your organization from legal complications.
This article will share details around the approval process and the items that are reviewed for approval. Please note that MemberHub is not qualified to offer legal advice, and organizations should always utilize their own legal team to ensure experience compliance with all local, state, and federal organizations.
When will my sweepstakes go through the approval process?
Once a sweepstakes is published, it goes through a short approval process before it is live and can receive purchases. The approval process can take up to 24 hours though it often takes less time than that.
What items are reviewed?
1) The rules reflect the correct eligibility.
By default, the experience is an international sweepstakes. Anyone in the world is eligible to participate and win (except those listed as excluded due to restrictions in their country of residence). Please review the rules and let us know if you would like to leave them as is or edit the eligibility for certain geographic areas. Only the MemberHub team can edit the rules.
2) There is a three-day minimum between the entry deadline and the stated drawing date.
All entries must be received or postmarked by the entry deadline. To comply with the equal dignity clause, sufficient time between the “Stop selling entries date and time” and the “Drawing date and time” is required to allow the free entries to reach the MemberHub office and be entered into the drawing. Please be sure to leave at least three days between these dates.
3) Bond requirements are met.
If the total prize value of all prizes is greater than $5,000, a surety bond and registration are required for the state of New York to include New York residents in the drawing. If your organization is not a 501(c) organization, the same requirement applies to the state of Florida.
What else should I know about bonds?
Your experience must be completely set up before acquiring the bond. No changes to the experience are allowed once the bond has been obtained.
MemberHub will provide you with all the information you need to navigate the registration and bonding process. We will introduce you to our partner, who can help you acquire the bond or use your own bond company. Should you wish to forego this step, you may exclude New York (or Florida) residents from your sweepstakes. Our staff can edit the official rules with these exclusions.
The cost of registering a charity sweepstake in New York is $100 (plus express shipping fees), and the cost of a surety bond is 2% of the value of the prize(s) (plus express shipping fees). The same fees apply if you are required to register in Florida. Please contact us if you need registration and bonding or if you want to exclude New York (or Florida) residents from your experience.
What can my organization do to speed up the approval process?
Organizations can speed up the process by reviewing the items above and ensuring they are compliant in each area.