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Thread: How to Create a Puzzle/Hunt (Laws in the USA?)

  1. #1
    TimotheusRex is offline Needs to say Hello! TimotheusRex is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default How to Create a Puzzle/Hunt (Laws in the USA?)

    I am looking for information about the legality of creating and running an armchair hunt.

    I don't expect it to be a big one. I don't plan on making much money (if any) from it. This is mostly just for fun. It is something I always wanted to do.

    However, I do want to make sure I go about doing everything in the right way.

    Are the laws different for every state? What are they?

    In order to play, you have to make a purchase (the puzzle itself) and then register it. Is that considered gambling?

    This is purely puzzle-based (no physical locations) so I am not worried about liability on that front (and the accompanying legalese), but I want people across the USA (or anywhere, really) to be able to play.

    Does anyone have any information at all about how to go about this? Hiring a lawyer seems like a lousy way to get a puzzle started...

  2. #2
    catherwood is offline Found the 11! Bronze catherwood is an unknown quantity at this point
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    When you say "(no physical locations)" do you mean there is no buried treasure at the end? You avoid a lot of the state-by-state variences in the laws when players can just stay at home.

    You could eliminate (most if not all) issues with gambling laws by not offering a prize at all. Just sell a book of puzzles. To be honest, I don' think offering a prize boosts sales enough to justify the cost of a prize as much as publishers like to believe.

  3. #3
    TimotheusRex is offline Needs to say Hello! TimotheusRex is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Yes, no buried treasure at the end. It would be a solve that could be verified via the web somehow - either by email or by direct submission somehow..

    I can understand the simplicity of bypassing the gambling laws by just selling the book/whatever, but I always just liked the idea of certain people getting a little recognition for what they've done. I was thinking like $50 for the first 10 people who solve it or something like that.

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