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Is it legal in USA to organize no-profit tournaments (any sport) among friends, with each player putting some money to play, and 100% of the total pot goes to the winner (and possibly second/third place) as a prize, with no profit for the organizer (unless he/she gets a prize cause of the ranking of course). I live in Florida and I am interested only in beach volleyball (2 versus 2), but I guess other people could be interested so a general answer might be preferred. Specific questions:

  1. Does the amount of money matter? We would like to put $5-10 each, so really just for fun and to make it a little more competitive
  2. Does it matter the number of persons involved (my case not more than 10-14 probably)?
  3. Is there a difference if the tournaments are organized at a public location (e.g. beach), private location (my backyard), or other private/public locations (University campus, the backyard of a bar/restaurant, etc?)
  4. I am interested in the Florida case, but is it a federal law or each state has their own regulations?
  • Hello, Millemila! This is more of a question about the law than about sports themselves. You could equally have asked about a tournament of chess or about video games, neither of which are sports as we mean on the site. Thus, I believe it is more suitable on Law Stack Exchange (which already has questions in a similar vein you may find helpful, if this is not answered quickly). – Nij Jun 24 at 7:02
  • I only partially agree, video games and chess are not sports, I clearly mentioned sport. Leaving it the sport section would have helped a lot cause this is surely a matter which interests many people on that site. Plus they could have given advice themself based on their experience. Is there a way we can link this there? What if I write a similar question only for beach volleyball on the sport site and link this? I do not think that regulations for beach volleyball prizes are the same for chess, but I might be wrong. – Millemila Jun 24 at 15:46
  • Why do you think a game is not a game? Legally, there is no difference, unless you already know of laws that make one. Yes, you did mention a sport, but your question is about the law, not the sport itself. Asking about a specific sport will not change the answer in general (unless again, you know it will, so why the question). – Nij Jun 24 at 20:28
  • Because paying to play board games and having a cash award if winning is usually categorized as gambling, while in some countries the same cash involvement with a physical sport I do not think it belongs to gambling, but I might be wrong. – Millemila Jun 26 at 16:23

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