Without clarification, Commission legal staff said the ‘pick the pros’ was illegal last year...

a.    With football season around the corner, is it permissible to do ‘pick the pros’ at on-premise accounts where we give away hats/t-shirts/sweatshirts for winners?

Pick the pros is a contest where consumers pick a winning team for each football game that week.  The consumer with the most correct picks wins a consumer specialty item.  To determine whether this is gambling you must consider two things:

1) Is there a monetary condition to enter the contest?

2) Is it a game of chance?  Game of skill is illegal. 

Picking the correct winning team is a game of chance.  If there is no condition (no entry fee) for entry then the above practices would be allowed.  Raffles are okay if the licensee has a local raffle license. 

Matt Tanaka

Matt Tanaka is a digital marketer who lives in Chicago with his beautiful wife Laura and their incredibly lazy French Bulldog, Bento. He is an experienced writer, obsessive planner and firm believer in the ability of digital tools to connect brands with their audiences.