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ILN Today Post

NYC Marathon Organizer Sued Over Alleged Illegal Lottery

Two Utah residents have filed a class action lawsuit in a New York federal district court against the organizer of the New York City Marathon, claiming that the method it uses to select runners to participate in the race is an illegal lottery. Although the lawsuit alleges specific violations of New York State’s lottery law, the lawsuit may have a far reaching impact on the way companies in a broad range of industries make tickets available for concerts, athletic contests, and other events.

The plaintiffs allege that there are more runners who want to participate in the New York City Marathon than available spots and that, as a result, the organizer – New York Road Runners, Inc. – uses a “random, chance-based drawing or lottery” to determine who can participate. This system, the plaintiffs contend, involves prospective runners paying a non-refundable fee for the chance to win a “prize” – the right to run in the marathon.

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