Vermont has amended its state law to allow sponsors to charge an entry fee or require a purchase to enter a contest.

The changes to the state’s consumer protection law took effect on April 26 when Governor Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 3. The legislation added a new section, 9 V.S.A. § 2481x, which provides that:

“Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a person from requiring or paying any kind of entry fee, service charge, purchase, or similar consideration in order to enter, or continue to remain eligible for, a game of skill or other promotion that is not based on chance.”

The legislation also amended 13 V.S.A. § 2143b, Vermont’s statute on contests and sweepstakes, which now reads:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, a person may organize, execute, or participate in a contest or game of chance, including a sweepstakes, provided that persons who enter the contest or game of chance are not required to venture money or other valuable things. The cost of mailing an entry shall not be considered a venture of money or other valuable things. This section shall not be construed to prohibit a person from organizing, executing, or participating in a contest that is not a contest of chance.”

To read Vermont’s updated law, click here.

Why it matters: Vermont’s new law brings the state in line with the majority of other jurisdictions, which allow consideration to enter contests or other games of skill. Only a handful of states still place restrictions upon consideration or payment to enter a contest. Sponsors of a contest should carefully review their rules to ensure compliance in all participating states.