Alternate-method-of-entry (AMOE)

AMOE stands for alternate method of entry. It’s a free, no purchase necessary entry method sometimes included in a sweepstakes or game when the other entry methods require a purchase. 

How does this affect my promotion?

If you’re planning on requiring a purchase for people to enter your promotion, you’ll also have to offer them an AMOE. 

Promotions usually include 3 elements: Prize, Consideration (e.g. purchase), Chance (e.g. sweepstakes). Ensure your promotion is legal – remove either chance or consideration if offering a prize.

In some circumstances, promotions offer an AMOE to avoid being categorized as a lottery. If a promotion includes a prize, consideration and chance, it’s considered a lottery and lotteries are illegal in the U.S. unless they’re state-operated. 

Consideration is a purchase in promotion context. It can also be the amount of time a person has to spend to enter. For example, filling out a 100 survey questions to enter can be consideration. 

Quick reference alternative method of entry (AMOE):

Promotion Type: CHANCE / PRIZE / CONSIDERATION (Purchase):

Sweepstakes: CHANCE + PRIZE – No Consideration purchase X = NO AMOE X

Sweepstakes: CHANCE + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = AMOE

Skill Contest: No Chance + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = NO AMOE X / AMOE ✔ (in certain states)

Skill Contest: (No chance) X + PRIZE – No Consideration / purchase X = NO AMOE X

Game: CHANCE + PRIZE– No Consideration / No purchase = NO AMOE X

Game: CHANCE + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = AMOE

 

AMOE examples 

  • Entry by mail  

People mail their entry to a P.O. box

  • Entry by self-addressed stamped envelope 

People mail a self-addressed stamped envelope and receive a game piece for entry

  • Entry by online form

People fill out an online form for entry

  • Entry by email

People send an email for entry 

 

Long explanation….

When is Alternate Method of Entry (AMOE) required?

Promotions usually include 3 elements: Prize, Consideration (e.g. purchase), Chance (e.g. sweepstakes).

Ensure your promotion is legal – remove either chance or consideration if offering a prize.

“Consideration” in the context of a promotion can take several different forms. It could refer to an explicit purchase or it could mean that so much time and/or effort is required to participate, that it is tantamount to a purchase (the old Ben Franklin ‘time is money’ adage).

Why is this important? It’s important because if your promotion contains all three of the following elements – prize, chance, and consideration – it is a lottery and lotteries are illegal in the U.S. unless they are state-operated. To ensure that your promotion is legal, you must remove one of these elements which is usually either chance or consideration since the prize is what entices consumers to participate.

If your promotion is going to use chance versus skill to determine prize winners, you need to make a free method of entry available to consumers which would remove the element of “consideration.” That isn’t to say that you can’t tie an entry to a purchase, but that if you do, you must also offer a free method of entry also known as an AMOE (Alternate Method of Entry). You must give equal dignity to the free entrants. You can’t weight a drawing to favor those that have made a purchase versus those that have not.

The AMOE can be satisfied in different ways. One common method is to allow consumers to mail their entry to a P.O. Box that is set-up and administered by Promotion Activators.   Or, if your promotion features game pieces obtained by the purchase of a product, you can satisfy the AMOE requirement by enabling consumers to mail a self-addressed, stamped, envelope and in turn, Promotion Activators would send them a free game piece. We can also create an online form or collect entries via email to satisfy the AMOE requirement.

Quick reference alternative method of entry (AMOE):

CHANCE / PRIZE / CONSIDERATION:

Sweepstakes CHANCE + PRIZE + No Consideration / purchase = NO AMOE

Sweepstakes CHANCE + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = AMOE

Skill Contest (No chance) + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = NO AMOE / AMOE in certain states

Skill Contest (No chance) + PRIZE + No Consideration / purchase = NO AMOE

Game CHANCE + PRIZE + No Consideration / purchase = NO AMOE

Game CHANCE + PRIZE + CONSIDERATION (Purchase) = AMOE

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