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AMOE - What Does AMOE Mean?

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Definition:

AMOE, or Alternate Method of Entry, is a term that you'll often see in sweepstakes rules. What does AMOE stand for, and why do so many sweepstakes have one?

Briefly put, an alternate entry method is a different way that you can submit your entry, in case the primary entry method doesn't work for you. In some circumstances, sweepstakes are required to offer an AMOE to avoid falling under illegal lottery laws.

What Are Some Examples of AMOEs?

There are a number of ways that sponsors can accept entries into sweepstakes today. A few of the common AMOEs include:
  • Online entry form
  • Email entry
  • Entry by mail
  • Telephone entry
  • Entering through Twitter
  • Entering through Facebook
  • In-person entry, at stores or events
  • Text message entry

Why Do Sweepstakes Offer an AMOE, or Alternate Method of Entry?

Sometimes, sweepstakes offer an alternate entry method to make it as easy as possible for people to enter. But an important reason why many sweepstakes offer an AMOE has to do with consideration.

For example, a purchase can't be required to enter a sweepstakes (find out why). So if a company has an entry method that involves any kind of monetary benefit, like a purchase or donation, they must offer an alternate entry method with exactly equal odds.

Consideration can be a tricky issue, because the money spend doesn't have to directly benefit the sponsoring company. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine what exactly falls under consideration laws. Even internet access for online sweepstakes has come into question.

According to the article, Don't Gamble with Internet Sweepstakes:

"There has been some concern that requiring a computer and/or Internet access to enter a sweepstakes could be deemed consideration. However, as long as consumers are not specifically induced to purchase Internet access and/or a computer for the purpose of participating in a promotion, Internet sweepstakes are not likely to be deemed an illegal lottery on that basis alone."

To be safe, however, many internet sweepstakes offer a mail-in entry AMOE to be sure that they are not falling afoul of illegal lottery laws.

Also Known As: alternate method of entry, alternate means of entry, alternate entry, alternate entry methods
Examples:
From PSCU Financial Services' Fly Away with 10K Sweepstakes: "Alternate Method of Entry (AMOE): Visit the Branch of any participating Financial Institution between open and close of business during the Sweepstakes Period."

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