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Cities Conducting Games or Contests for Money

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Reviewed Date: April 30, 2021

Original Author: 
Darden, Ron
Date of Material: 
Aug 4, 2011

Revenue sources--Municipal--Tennessee
Revenue sources--Municipal

Cities Conducting Games or Contests for Money

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.

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


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