California Business and Professions Code Section 17539.1
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California Laws > Business and Professions Code > California Business and Professions Code Section 17539.1
17539.1. (a) The following unfair acts or practices undertaken by,
or omissions of, any person in the operation of any contest are
(1) Failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose, at the time of
the initial contest solicitation, at the time of each precontest
promotional solicitation and each time the payment of money is
required to become or to remain a contestant, the total number of
contestants anticipated based on prior experience and the percentages
of contestants correctly solving each puzzle used in the three most
recently completed contests conducted by the person. If the person
has not operated or promoted three contests he shall disclose for
each prior contest if any, the information required by this section.
(2) Failing to promptly send to each member of the public upon his
request, the actual number and percentage of contestants correctly
solving each puzzle or game in the contest most recently completed.
(3) Misrepresenting in any manner the odds of winning any prize.
(4) Misrepresenting in any manner, the rules, terms, or conditions
of participation in a contest.
(5) Failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose with all contest
puzzles and games and with all promotional puzzles and games all of
(A) The maximum number of puzzles or games which may be necessary
to complete the contest and determine winners.
(B) The maximum amount of money, including the maximum cost of any
postage and handling fees, which a participant may be asked to pay
to win each of the contest prizes then offered.
(C) That future puzzles or games, if any, or tie breakers, if any,
will be significantly more difficult than the initial puzzle.
(D) The date or dates on or before which the contest will
terminate and upon which all prizes will be awarded.
(E) The method of determining prizewinners if a tie remains after
the last tie breaker puzzle is completed.
(F) All rules, regulations, terms, and conditions of the contest.
(6) Failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the exact nature
and approximate value of the prizes when offered.
(7) Failing to award and distribute all prizes of the value and
(8) Representing directly or by implication that the number of
participants has been significantly limited, or that any particular
person has been selected to win a prize unless such is the fact.
(9) Representing directly or by implication that any particular
person has won any money, prize, thing, or other value in a contest
unless there has been a real contest in which a meaningful
percentage, which shall be at least a majority, of the participants
in such contests have failed to win a prize, money, thing, or other
(10) Representing directly or by implication that any particular
person has won any money, prize, thing, or other value without
disclosing the exact nature and approximate value thereof.
(11) Using the word "lucky" to describe any number, ticket,
coupon, symbol, or other entry, or representing in any other manner
directly or by implication that any number, ticket, coupon, symbol,
or other entry confers or will confer an advantage upon the recipient
that other recipients will not have, that the recipient is more
likely to win a prize than are others, or that the number, ticket,
coupon, symbol or other entry has some value that other entries do
(12) Failing to obtain the express written or oral consent of
individuals before their names are used for a promotional purpose in
connection with a mailing to a third person.
(13) Using or distributing simulated checks, currency, or any
simulated item of value unless there is clearly and conspicuously
printed thereon the words: SPECIMEN--NONNEGOTIABLE.
(14) Representing, directly or by implication, orally or in
writing, that any tie breaker puzzle may be entered upon the payment
of money qualifying the contestant for an extra cash or any other
type prize or prizes unless:
(A) It is clearly and conspicuously disclosed that the payments
are optional and that contestants are not required to pay money,
except for reasonable postage and handling fees, to play for an extra
cash or any other type of prize or prizes; and
(B) Contestants are clearly and conspicuously given the
opportunity to indicate they wish to enter such phase of the contest
for free, except for reasonable postage and handling fees the amount
of which shall not exceed one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) plus the
actual cost of postage and which shall be clearly and conspicuously
disclosed at the time of the initial contest solicitation and each
time thereafter that the payment of such fees is required. The
contestants' opportunity to indicate they wish to enter for free
shall be in immediate conjunction with and in a like manner as the
contestants' opportunity to indicate they wish to play for an extra
(b) This section does not apply to an advertising plan or program
that is regulated by, and complies with, the requirements of Section
Last modified: February 22, 2013