The Georgia legislature approved Senate Bill 431 and sent the bill to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature. The bill is intended to regulate Internet cafes – establishments where people can use computer terminals to play games and enter sweepstakes. Opponents of these establishments claim that they promote gambling and violate state lottery laws. However, members of the promotions industry are concerned because the bill is ambiguous and broadly drafted and on its face appears to prohibit, among other things, cash prizes in all types of sweepstakes.
The six-page bill would amend Georgia’s existing consumer protection statute by providing that “any promotion involving an element of chance which involves the playing of a game on a computer, mechanical device, or electronic device at a place of business in this state shall be considered an unlawful lottery” and “any promotion involving the playing of a no-skill game on a computer, mechanical device, or electronic device at a place of business in this state shall be considered an unlawful lottery.” The bill also provides “All prizes offered and awarded shall be noncash prizes only and shall not be redeemable for cash.”
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