The most frequent inquiry received by the Attorney General of Nebraska relates to the law on lotteries. Although this officer is authorized by statute to give opinions only to state officers and county attorneys, the questions from other sources are answered as well as circumstances will permit. The scope of the answers is necessarily limited unless the request originates with a county attorney. The office of the Attorney General never gives outright written approval of a particular scheme since the scheme in operation may vary in some significant detail. Also, promoters do not hesitate in using reproductions of official approval to promote their schemes. Neither will the office advise how a given scheme, if illegal, can be altered to comply with the lottery law.

Enforcement of the lottery statutes is, of course, a continuing problem. Complaints received by the Attorney General are normally forwarded to the county attorney concerned. Such complaints most frequently originate with fellow businessmen in the same or nearby towns who ask, “If he can do it, why can’t I?” A gratifying proportion of the unlawful business promotion schemes which come to the attention of the Attorney General are undertaken by businessmen who are completely unaware that their plan involves a violation of the law, and who will immediately discontinue their promotion when this is called to their attention.

I. Nebraska’s Statute

II. Elements of a Lottery … A. Prize … B. Chance … C. Consideration

III. Promotions Held to Be Lotteries