Would my idea be a legal business venture? 2 Answers as of December 19, 2012

My idea involves a regular online store, but instead of buying products for full price, users would pay as much as they wanted for it. For example you could pay $1 for an iPod. Other people are also putting money towards that iPod. I would set the price at $200 and whoever pays the 200th dollar gets the iPod. So, it’s kind of like group shopping because everybody is paying towards the same product. But at the same time it’s kind of like gambling because you don’t know how close that item is to the $200 finish line. You are paying money and hoping to buy (win) the iPod.

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Law Offices of Neil Sussman
Law Offices of Neil Sussman | Neil Sussman
Your business plan is really a gambling operation. It is not legal unless you obtain the proper gambling licenses in advance.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/19/2012
Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
I think this would probably be categorized as a form of gambling. There would probably be a great deal of concern over how informed the participants were and who it was that was "winning" the items. It would probably be regulated by federal and state gaming laws in every state in which it is functioning. My first thought is that I cannot imagine people being stupid enough to do this, but people buy lottery tickets and that seems equally stupid to me.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/19/2012
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