Knowledgebase-Cities Conducting Games or Contests for Money

Information Product

Title:Cities Conducting Games or Contests for Money
Summary:MTAS was asked whether a city can sponsor a contest that charges registration fees, with part of the proceeds being donated to the regional library and part of the proceeds used for prizes.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Product Create Date:08/04/2011
Last Reviewed on::11/28/2016
Subject:Revenue sources--Municipal--Tennessee; Revenue sources--Municipal
Original Document: long beard contest.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: August 4, 2011

Ms. Wendy Bess, City Recorder
Town of Altamont
P.O. Box 200
Altamont, Tennessee 37301

Re: Long Beard Contest

Dear Ms. Bess

I attended the recent Altamont Town Council meeting where a presentation was made for the town to endorse or sponsor a long beard contest to run from July 4 through Labor Day. The registration fee is to be $15 per participant with 50% of the revenues donated to the regional library and 50% for prizes.

While this may be a worthwhile event for the community, cities are generally not allowed to conduct games or contests for money. It is the opinion of MTAS that the city lacks the authority to collect revenue in this manner.

Perhaps a civic club could sponsor the long beard contest.


Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant