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  1. #1
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    Legal issues with offering forum rewards

    Hello,

    I've been doing a little research into offering rewards on an up and coming forum I'm working on. However, there are some aspects I'm not clear on as far as the law goes and would like a little clarification from anybody that knows anything about the subject.

    For the record, the forum is gambling related and is orientated to the California casino market.

    I'm looking at implementing a points system, whereby users gain points for signing up, posting, making excellent contributions and so forth, which can be exchange for rewards from packs of cards or chips right up to iPod's. I believe this should be fine, though again any words of advice or warning are appreciated.

    However, as it is a gambling related forum we have a couple of flash games whereby users can gamble with points. However, if we bring in a rewards scheme, they are effectively gambling for points which can be traded for rewards - is this allowed, and if not is there any way of having the games in place or is this a big no-no? I know that we cannot promote gambling to win prizes because we have no license, no regulatory controls etc etc, though would this be a problem if the users were merely gambling away points they have accumulated which can eventually be exchanged for rewards?

    I've seen a similar system on several other sites, though I fear some are sailing close to the wind on this one.

    Any advice that you can give me on the subject would be great, even if it's not particularly what I want to hear.

    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
    Visit docquesting.com docquesting's Avatar
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    Hi, All very well thought out it appears. I might would skip the points rewards in regards to the games. Even with a disclamer and as you mentioned it could be risky.

    Why not just have a forum category related to high scores of those games. That would tempt people to brag on the game played and thus contributing to your forum. In turn this part of it could be used towards the point system and would be more legal.

    As it is today with more laws being passed to ban all forms of online gambling your probably right to be concerned. Go with your gut fealings. The point system itself is a great plan as many forums do use it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    The best advice will come from your attorney.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your input guys. I am tempted to perhaps limit the extent of the points system if it will verge on slightly grey areas, though I will be seeking further advice from somebody within the legal profession.

    As I said, I've seen it done before though I have to wonder whether or not it has been thoroughly checked out by the owners of the forum in question because of the link between gambling and rewards.


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