Sweepstakes law passes state Senate

A bill aimed to curtail deceptive sweepstakes practices was passed on a 31-1 vote today (Thursday) by the state Senate and now will have a hearing in the state Assembly in June.

The elderly are often targets of misleading sweepstakes advertising, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said. He authored SB 1400 to prohibit such practices.

Lisa Conrad of Menlo Park gave Simitian the idea for the legislation in her entry to Simitian's annual "There Oughta Be A Law" contest.

"I know there are laws on the books already," Conrad said, "but they don't seem to be working. Particularly annoying is the fact that so-called sweepstakes prey on the most vulnerable members of the community."

"Folks are told they're 'specially selected' or have 'already won' when that's just not the case," Simitian said. "Gimmicks like so-called 'official' documents abound; and sweepstakes pitches too often skirt the 'no purchase required' provisions of current state law.

"The sale of so-called 'sucker lists' is especially offensive" by targeting "those who are particularly vulnerable for repeated victimization."

SB 1400 would prohibit the sale of such lists and would strengthen consumer protection against deceptive sweepstakes advertising.

— Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by Madison Green
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on May 9, 2008 at 6:01 am

It's about time! What took you so long? Too many people have been victimized and I think that there should be jail time for the ones that have been getting away with it!

Like this comment
Posted by Great
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

That is really fantastic news. Now if they could only get the schools more money and fix the water supply problem.

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