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Check Card Contest

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Question: 
I drove by a bank and saw a sign saying that if you used [name of bank withheld]’s check card you were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win cash. The more times you use their card for purchases the better your chances of winning. I was under the impression that anyone had to be allowed to enter into a contest even non-customers. If I don’t want to get a check card from that particular bank and they don’t offer another alternative to entering the contest to win cash (example: filling out a card for a drawing) how can they do this? Are they breaking the law?
Answer: 

This sounds like a lottery. Section 125 of the FDI Act prohibits FDIC insured institutions from being involved in any type of lotteries & games of chance. A lottery is any activity where I must advance money for the chance to win more money (loose paraphrase). If I must have an account at the bank to be eligible, I'm advancing money (the money needed to open the account, account fees, etc.) to enter the game of chance. However, a detailed reading of the rules would be necessary to determine if others were allowed to enter.

First published on BankersOnline.com 11/05/07

First published on 11/05/2007

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