Why are 13 countries excluded from various contests, giveaways, sweepstakes run by many different types of organizations on the Web?

These countries are: Taiwan, South Korea, Portugal, Italy, Austria, China, Russia, Hong Kong, Greece, France, Japan, Spain, Czech Republic.

This is easily checked by searching the web with the following keywords:

-germany Taiwan, South Korea, Portugal, Italy, Austria, China, Russia, Hong Kong, Greece, France, Japan, Spain, Czech Republic

Note that I have added -germany at the beginning to exclude Germany, so as not to get any list of the world countries.

What kind of legal problems would the inclusion of these 13 countries raise? I realize this may differ according to the concerned country.

This question may be related to the previous #SOreadytohelp - international giveaway without terms and conditions?. But it is possibly more focussed in determining the precise reasons.

It is also interesting to note that most sites concerned by my remark do not seem to use the word "lottery" (not a systematic analysis, though ... and it may have other motivations).

  • 1
    Because of an identified real or perceived conflict with national law. The list is probably not exhaustive (just those they know or think would be a problem), and probably includes countries where it would not actually be a problem, provided some conditions are met.
    – jcaron
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


Those countries have more restrictive gambling laws than others.
For discussion of some of those relevant laws, see here.
For example,

[In Hong Kong], "Under the Gambling Ordinance, a prize draw is considered to be a form of lottery. Lotteries include raffles & sweepstakes...
In most cases, prior approval is needed for a prize draw in the form of a licence and for the majority of competitions, this will need to be in the form of a Trade Promotion Competition Licence. Selling, disposing, printing and publishing tickets without a licence are criminal offences ... punishable by fines or imprisonment.

Because of Italy's strict restrictions,

Unless a promotion falls under one of exceptions provided by the DPR, it is not possible to run multi-jurisdictional promotions, they need to be addressed only to people located in Italy and any activity, including the server, used for the promotion must be located in Italy.

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