The Rise Of Pay To Enter Prize Draws Sites

Raffles

The Rise Of Pay To Enter Prize Draws Sites

Search for prize draws and competitions on Google, Facebook or Instagram these days and you’re more than likely to come across promotions from multiple pay to enter prize draw sites. Each and every day there seems to be more and more of them. A pay to enter prize draw site used to be known (and sometimes is still referred to) as raffle sites. This was because you paid to enter the prize draw and received a ticket. The raffle notation is however incorrect and what we’re actually dealing with are prize draws that usually have fixed maximum entry numbers. Once either a closing date or required number of entries has been reached then the prize draw takes place. The use of a closing date is also something not often widely expected from these kind of sites but for the most part the format is now with a fixed closing date and a prize awarded regardless if the number of maximum entries hasn’t been reached. Amongst the most well known of these sites are McKinney, Bounty, Elite and Bear Competitions. However there are 100s more operating at various levels offering prizes ranging from Lego, cash, cars and watches. Whether the market can sustain all these various sites remains to be seen but for now the attraction to launch a pay to enter prize draw site continues to grow.

Win A House Prize Draws

If you thought pay to enter prize draw/raffle sites were just about second hand cars and cash then you’d be wrong. In recent times a number of these platforms have looked to offer bigger and better prizes including properties. Whilst the path of win a house competitions has been littered with various levels of ticket sales and success, we’ve seen all the above mentioned sites conclude property/cash alternative prize draws often in weeks and sometimes days. Interestingly though offering a cash alternative means that a property being offered as a prize sometimes reappears to run another day. Whilst this may actually seem to be a bad thing it does mean the site in question brings in yet more cash. McKinney’s repeat Mar Menor apartment prize draw for example potentially brought in revenue of £600,000 (assuming all tickets sold for full prize). If the winner has opted for the cash prize then we expect to see it reappear as a prize during 2024 (update it’s live now). Offering houses as prizes however isn’t an instant win. Whilst That Prize Guy, Kilted Competitions and Tommy French have all created property/cash winners, Speed Competitions and Super Competitions 247 struggled. Indeed the latter has only sold 260 tickets since launching in September 2023. Hoping for a better experience is Dream Comp but their Cornwall Holiday Home giveaway hasn’t exactly started with much interest.

Big Cash Prizes

One of the things we’ve noted with respect to these kind of competition sites is that the prizes, especially where cash is involved, seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. McKinney for example are offering a £3000 prize but you also get to Spin the Wheel to win up to £100,000. That Prize Guy is offering sums between £15,000 and £75,000. Bounty have slightly more modest sums but are still inviting players to enter to win £2000 for 20p in one day only promos. Head over to Bear and you can try to win £1000 to £10,000 whilst Tommy French has £100,000 being offered. McKinney even created a millionaire when Dominic Brogan won a property prize draw and opted to take the huge cash prize over a villa in the Algarve. These kind of sums and prizes obviously attract plenty of players and the sites must be attracting enough revenue in order to offer them. Just taking Bounty’s 20p for £2000 prize draw as a quick example: at time of writing the maximum tickets available is 14500. However they’ve already sold 12292. That’s just under £2500 taken from a potential £2900. As £2000 is given away you can quickly see that there’s a nice £500 to £900 profit from that one 24 hour competition alone. Of course there are costs etc involved but on scale you can see why this sector is proving lucrative and why each and every day more and more sites jump on the bandwagon.

Free To Enter Prize Draws

Another notable change with respect to pay to enter/raffle sites is that more and more are utilising free to enter giveaways to attract users and potential new customers. Our raffle competitions list for example currently lists 37 different promotions and the vast majority of these are free to enter. By free to enter in this case we mean via an online entry route. By default all sites should run a fair and legitimate postal entry route although the jury is out on whether this aspect of the prize draw mechanic is done as it should be. The free prize draw offers aren’t to be sniffed at either with prizes including cash, consoles, Lego and even the occasional airfryer. Sign up for Good Life Plus for a seven day free trial and you can even enter a prize draw to win a brand new car! That said what you do tend to find with the free giveaways is that the prizes are more site credit related. This means you’ll be awarded a sum (or bonus) to then use on competitions currently being run. In addition to on site free prize draws we also see a number of giveaways running on social media. A sizeable audience for a pay to enter brand can often be the make or break between reaching McKinney type levels or joining the countless number of failures within the sector.

Competition Portals

We think that Loquax was the first site to include raffles within it’s competition listings and we also do have a small section for reviewing various sites plus our win a house section. However we have noted that there are a couple of portals that specialise in just raffle sites. Competition Countdown was the first to bring together draws from several platforms. It’s a very basic set-up but also pretty effective although the number of brands involved is limited. A newer site is The CompHub. This is quite an attractive looking site that brings in feeds from ZapCompetition powered brands and gives them ratings based on tickets sold etc. In aims to seek out pay to enter prize draws with “optimal probabilities and odds”. This sounds a great idea. Why pay to enter one draw that’s almost sold out when another with a similar prize on another platform has sold fewer tickets? We have considered looking at adding more pay to enter prize draw content but the turnover of giveaways is very high so it’d need to be automated. Getting sites involved is quite hard and for the most part the Loquax audience is deep rooted in free to enter prize draws.

The Gambling Factor

In each of the above we’ve deliberately touched on elements of pay to enter prize draws that equate very closely with online gambling. As a company we’ve been involved in bingo marketing since 2004 and know how the industry has evolved. In short it’s actually almost impossible for us to function as an affiliate in the sector because of UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and operator rules. Yet if you have a pay to enter prize draw site offering prizes that you would generally not see on a bingo brand then that’s not even under UKGC jurisdiction. For example McKinney are offering a “Spin The Wheel” element to one of the prize draws. Spin The Wheel promotions are everywhere across slots and bingo brands. In free prize draws you can win site credit to play the competitions. Essentially you’re getting bonus money but bonuses and bonus money at a slots/bingo site is something UKGC clamped down on. Finally we have “optimal probabilities and odds” and if that doesn’t shout gambling or odds comparison then what does it say? This is not to say anyone in the sector is currently doing anything wrong. In fact they’re not. But it does highlight just how little control there is within the pay to enter prize draw and how much The UKGC are turning a blind eye too. Here we have multiple sites mushrooming up each and every week, some offering huge prizes often with high ticket prices and zero regulations or licensing.

Raffle Sites In 2024

It’s fair to say that “raffle sites” have become more and more mainstream. Obviously they’re not for everyone, especially compers who much prefer free to enter or more familiar styles of promotions. But these sites aren’t going anywhere soon and indeed we see them promoted in “articles” on the likes of The Sun and Daily Mail. What we haven’t seen yet are any horror stories that regularly pop up in the same publications when it’s time to attack the betting industry. Unfortunately it will only be when someone has lost a fortune playing raffles that the media or UKGC actually starts to take note. Actually we doubt the latter will because they’re too busy with Government white papers and doing as much damage as they can to the gambling industry to note anything else going on in the world. It’ll be interesting to see if the gambling industry also start to lobby for more controls because essentially money going to raffle sites is money that may have gone to lottery or betting brands. From a win a house perspective we expect to see McKinney, Bear, Elite and Bounty continue offering property prizes but others will follow and that will make things very interesting for the likes of Omaze, Raffle House and Tramway Path.

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Million Pound Prize Draws

At the start of 2024 we wrote about the rise of pay to enter prize draw sites. In case you’re not aware these