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Charging money for a raffle
I posted on Twitter about this issue but as I didn't get a response, I wanted to make sure this got some attention.
The Capcom booth was holding a raffle for one of their Street Fighter arcade sticks. They were charging $5 per raffle. A purchase of a raffle was required to enter. You didn't get a raffle as part of swag purchase or anything else, it was only for the raffle.
I entered in a bunch of raffles (and won nothing) throughout the weekend and it was always super fun. I'm hugely thankful for all the Enforcers that helped clear the path and make sure we were all safe. Someone was at the Capcom booth holding a bunch of tickets so I asked if I could enter. I was super confused when she said I had to pay $5 and made sure to ask twice. It was still on my mind so I went back a few hours later to confirm. The gentlemen behind the counter confirmed that you did need to pay $5 to enter and the raffle had ended a couple hours earlier. I asked if he was aware that this may be illegal. I'm no lawyer but I'm aware that this is illegal for most sates. See Washington State Gambling Commission
. He seemed confused and unaware of the obvious lottery laws of the US. He even said "yeah but Razor is holding a raffle" but I pointed out that Razor is not charging money nor was any other raffle I encountered. He just shrugged his shoulders. Maybe it wasn't his decision to hold the lottery but it seems odd that no one else pointed this out to them. I have no idea how many people entered as I didn't go the drawing. There's also the risk that someone younger than 21 entered the lottery.
I don't want to be a party pooper. I love raffles. I just don't want to see this become normal because it's not right. I hope this was an honest mistake and only the Capcom booth was affected. Vendors need to be aware of this law.