Is it legal to host a video game tournament? 2 Answers as of March 25, 2014There would be entry fees to pay for the overall prize pot and to help pay for the building I would rent to host the tournament in. The said game is most definitely skill, not chance, so I'd imagine I'd be okay if I weren't making a profit from the whole thing. Am I correct? Also, if eventually, I did want to make a profit from it because the tournament(s) began to local popularity, how would I go about that? Just acquiring a business license? Thanks in advance.
Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
One of the main things you need to do this is permission from the game company in writing, because you will be using the name of the game, which is their trademark. If you are running the tournament in a rented space, you will need to have whatever zoning and licensing is required to run an event in that space. That is why it would be best to rent a space that is already zoned and insured to hold events, such as a convention center. Much of what you need to know, you will learn by doing.
Answer Applies to: California
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
You'll need to check your state's statutes to see if this is permitted. The type of video games will impact whether your event is permissible and what ages the competitors must be to enter. Another consideration is whether you would need to get permission from the copyright owner of each game that you offer. If you want to continue offering this event, it would be smart to create a corporation or LLC.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska