• Indian law on holding sweepstakes

I am reviewing the law on sweepstakes in India. 

Firstly, I would like to know if there is an Act that lays out the law in this area? 

Secondly, I would appreciate your assistance with the questions below.

1.    Is it correct to say that no purchase is necessary and the contestant has an equal chance of winning regardless of whether or not he or she makes a purchase

2.    The odds of winning; according to the law, should there be an explanation?

3.    Eligibility requirements; are restrictions permitted that state that the sweepstake is only open to certain areas in India?

4.    The inclusive dates when the sweepstakes is being held; is it a must to have start and end date?

5.    The various prizes and the number of each that is being offered; I take it this should be stated?

6.    The value (in rupees) of each prize. if a prize is a car, should it's value in rupess be stated?

7.     Are there any additional disclosures that are required?

8.     What disclosures need to be made on a poster?  

9.     Does a company need to make more detailed “official rules” available? If so, can those requirements be satisfied by posting the official rules on their website?

10.   Do you have suggestions of where I can find samples
Asked 2 years ago in Business Law from United Kingdom
The Public Gaming Act, 1867 was enacted with the object of preventing (i) gambling in a public place and (ii) the keeping of the common gaming-houses and to provide for the punishment of public gambling and the keeping of common gaming houses. The term ‘Gambling’ per-se has not been defined in the Public Gambling Act 1867 and the terms – gambling, gaming, betting and wagering are the terms which are often used synonymously, and of all ‘Gambling’ being regarded as embracing all the terms. The term ‘Gaming’ too  has not been defined under the Indian Gambling laws, however, an inference can be drawn from the English Betting and Gaming Act, 1960, wherein its is defined as “playing of a game of chance and skill combined, and a pretended game of chance and skill combined, but not any athletic game or sport”. Also, in light of various case laws so far dealt by the Indian courts, it has been observed that the term ‘gaming’ generally denotes playing at any game whether of chance or skill (or mixed chance and skill) for money or money’s worth.

A game can be (i) a game of chance or (ii) a game of skill or (iii) a mixed games of chance and skill. In a very relevant case in this regard of Dr. KR Lakshmanan v/s State of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court of India held that gaming is an act or practice of gambling on a game of chance and the test of determining if a game is ‘gambling’, is whether dominant element is chance or skill. Hence, the test of determining if a game is ‘gambling’ is whether dominant element is ‘chance’ or ‘skill’. Again, the legislation in India does not define the terms ‘skill’ or ‘chance’ for the purposes of gambling, however, based upon the interpretation of the Indian courts, it can be concluded  - that a game that does not involve skill or is a mixed game of chance and skill would not be treated as lawful in India.
Whether or not a particular activity will be considered gambling will depend greatly on the amount of skill required in comparison to the amount of chance. Games and activities where the element of chance predominates will likely be considered Gambling and where the element of skill predominates, such games and activities may be exempted from the prohibition, such as betting on horseracing.
Source- (1996) 2 SCC 226 (1996) 2 SCC 226; 1995 6 SCC 289;  1968 SCR (2) 387
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5248 Answers
54 Consultations
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1) in case of  Dr. KR Lakshmanan v/s State of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court of India held that gaming is an act or practice of gambling on a game of chance and the test of determining if a game is ‘gambling’, is whether dominant element is chance or skill.
 2) Hence, the test of determining if a game is ‘gambling’ is whether dominant element is ‘chance’ or ‘skill’. - that a game that does not involve skill or is a mixed game of chance and skill would not be treated as lawful in India.

3) Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872: This Section prevents any person from bringing a suit for recovery of any winnings won by way of a ?wager.? (An agreement which is based on a future uncertain event wherein the loss of one person is the gain of the other). Thus no claim for recovery of any winnings in lotteries, gambling or betting can be brought before the court. The position of law in India is such that it may be perfectly legal to buy a lottery ticket, but the winner of such a lottery will have no remedy against the lottery agency if the said agency refuses to pay the winnings. 

4)  There is no express provision in India either banning or allowing online gambling. However the Sikkim government has recently introduced the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 and subsequently by the amended Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules, 2009 invited applications for licences to set-up online gaming websites (for gambling and also betting on games like cricket, football, tennis etc.) with the servers based in Sikkim.

5) it is advisable to have start and closure date for sweepstakes

6)various prizes should be mentioned 

7)value of prize need not be stated 

8) prize selection criteria should be mentioned 

9)do not offer gifts that have health hazards . 

10) detailed terms and conditions should be mentioned on website
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23367 Answers
1224 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. According to the Public Gambling law, all kinds of gambling in India are illegal. However, there is no specific law in India that bars online gambling. It also becomes difficult to catch internet gambling offenders if the websites are hosted by servers located in countries where betting is legal. 

2. Enforcing the act becomes difficult if the servers are located offshore. Due to this loophole in the legal system, there is heavy betting on IPL games in India by online betting companies located offshore.

3. Some laws on online gambling exist in the state of Sikkim. However, these are applicable only within that state.

4. Start and closure date for sweepstakes should be necessarily mentioned.

5. The prizes ought to be mentioned, albeit the prize amount does not require a necessary mention.

6. The criteria of choosing the winner should be mentioned in unambiguous terms.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18183 Answers
449 Consultations
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1)it should be mentioned only those above 18 years should access the site .

2)Potential winners will be notified via e-mail address provided in their survey responses. Winners must accept a prize within one (1) week of notification via a response prize notification email in order to claim the prize. Winners who fail to respond or accept within the allotted time period forfeit their prize, and  that you  will perform another random drawing to select a replacement winner. 

3) The Sweepstakes and the rights and obligations of the entrants will be governed and controlled by the laws in   india nad in vent of any disputes subject to exclusive jurisdiction of courts in _____________

4)the privacy policy should be mentioned and additional rules as you may desire be mentioned .

5)freeindiasample.com/enter-the-sweepstakes-and-win-rs-1000-flipkart-gift...
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23367 Answers
1224 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Sweepstakes fall under the gambit of gambling in India. The Public Gaming Act, 1867 has been enacted basically to prevent public gambling and not for managing or monitoring gambling. Gambling has not been defined by Indian Law. however, the Apex Court has observed that gambling is a mixure of chance and skill. Where chance is the dominating factor in the game, it is called gambling and is illegal in India,

2.  Yes. Where chance is the dominating factor in the game, it is called gambling and is illegal in India, 

3. There is no exclusive ban on sweestakes in any state or gambling. However, Sikkim is open to Online Lottery,

4.It will be proper to have start and end date,

5.The names and numbers of varioyus prizes should be stated,

6. The value of each prize also should be stated,

7. In some cases, sale Tax is charged from the winners. If so decided by you, it should be disclosed properly,

8. basically the prizes and the website address where detailed information has been provided,

9. It will be prudent to make available official rules and the same can be posted in website.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12143 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You should make it open for the persons of age of 18 years and above,

2. The jurisdiction of court shall have to be stated in case of any dispute,

3. Posters are primarily for advertising the game where you can not detail all statutory disclosures. It should state your website address in the poster asking viewer to visit your site for further details,

4. Google search  your requirement.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12143 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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