Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What are Sweepstakes?
- A: Sweepstakes are a promotional tool where prizes are given away. In order for the promotion to be classified as a Sweepstakes, it must have the following elements/rules (all of which must be posted):
- No Purchase Necessary - One does not have to pay for an entry, and a purchase does not increase your chances of winning. There must also be an alternate manner in which to enter the sweepstakes with no purchase, usually by mail.
- A predetermined number of winners - there is a clearly defined number of entries and winners, predetermined before the start of the sweepstakes.
- This is known as a "finite sweepstakes." A start and an end date.
- Q: Is this legal? Is it gambling?
- A: It is best to check your local laws and regulations before opening a business that offers Sweepstakes. However, in general, for something to be considered Gambling, or a Lottery, it must have the following three elements:
- A prize, or prizes.
- Winners that are determined by chance.
- Consideration , or payment for entry.
- This last element is why, in most areas, Internet Cafe Sweepstakes are legal. Your customers are not buying sweepstakes entries from your store. They are in fact buying Internet Time, Long Distance or Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phone Cards, and/or other products. When your customers purchase any of these items, they are given, at no additional charge, an entry for a "chance" to win a "prize." The customer did not purchase the entry; they purchased a product, and were given a free entry.
- Q: How are winners predetermined?
- A: Winners are predetermined via a Pay-Table which denotes how many winners are possible for any available prize(s). The Pay-Table is a self-replenishing finite pool of results. Generally, it is required, or advised, that a summation of the Pay-Table(s) be plainly posted at the place of business.
- Q: Is the government currently shutting down the sweepstakes industry?
- A: While it is true that there have been legislative actions in a few states, the vast majority of the United States remains open to the Internet Cafe Sweepstakes business model. The mainstream media likes to overinflate stories, and raise levels of hysteria to bolster their own ratings, and they've been saying for years that Sweepstakes could be outlawed at any time. The reality is that Internet Cafe Sweepstakes is a booming industry and is thriving. Like any business, there will always be an element of risk when starting up. However, with Sweepstakes Cafes, there is the potential for an extremely hefty return on your investment. The sooner you start, the sooner your business can begin making a profit!
- Q: How much does it cost to get started?
- A: This depends on quite a number of factors. How many terminals would you like to have in your store? Where is the location, and how much is the rent/lease? What about utility costs, and an internet connection? Does the interior of the storefront require any work to get it ready for your business? We offer a wide array of options concerning the computer hardware you wish to utilize. We have software packages that run on decade-old PC's as well as packages which leverage the latest in 3D gaming technology. Additionally, we offer both server-based and cloud-based data collection points. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us at any time. We would be happy to assess your needs and help you estimate your total startup costs.
- Q: How much money can I make?
- A: Again, this also depends on a number of variables including your location, the number of terminals in your store, the promotions you choose to run, etc.
- Q: How long will it take to become profitable?
- A: While we can't offer any guarantees on the amount you'll make, nor how quickly you will become profitable, we have systems installed at many successful locations, and the owners of these establishments were able turn a profit in a relatively short amount of time. As with most industries, experience is important for generating a profit. You'll find out what works for your locations and your customers. Ask our experienced sales staff for tips and strategies; we've seen it all!
- Q: How do I succeed in this business?
- A: The single most important factor for success is creating an environment in which your customers are having a good time, and to where they want to return.
- Q: Do you charge for consulting/making recommendations?
- A: Absolutely not! We would love to talk with you and help you find the best solution for your needs. Feel free to contact us at any time, and we will set up a phone call.
- Q: How do I choose the right games?
- A: You will want to choose games that will appeal to your typical customer base. We will work with you to make sure that your game library will keep your customers engaged and coming back for more. We currently have approximately 50 games, including a wide variety of gameplay styles and themes, that will suit any type of player... and our catalog is always growing!
- Q: Is the required technology difficult to run/maintain?
- A: In general, the required technology is no more difficult to operate and maintain than a typical home computer. Our support staff can remotely handle most issues outside of catastrophic hardware failure. If you buy or lease the equipment through us, then we will handle any and all required setup, as well as hardware maintenance and repairs. If you choose to use your own hardware, then you are responsible for their operation and upkeep, unless you have purchased a service agreement through us. In most cases, you get what you pay for; cutting corners on up-front costs will burn you down the road.
- Q: Do you offer any type of Customer/Tech Support?
- A: We pride ourselves on our Customer/Tech Support Team. They have all been working in this industry for many years and have the expertise to troubleshoot any issue. They have successfully dealt with, and solved, every conceivable problem that could arise. We will keep you up and running at all times.
- Q: What is the difference between an Internet/web-based system and an In-house server-based system? Which do you offer, and why?
- A: We offer systems which use either an in-house server or a web-based (cloud) server. Each server option has its own pro's and con's. Choosing an in-house server is initially more expensive, but you are not dependent on your local ISP (Internet Service Provider). In other words, with an in-house server, your customers can use the system even if the Internet goes down. Choosing a cloud-based server has nearly no up-front cost. Instead, cloud-based server fees are paid on a monthly basis. Other advantages to cloud-based servers are data redundancy and zero upkeep and maintenance.
- Q: What makes a good store location?
- A: Somewhere that is safe, comfortable, and near your target customer base. Preferably a building in good condition, with reasonable lease/rental rates, a well-lit parking lot, and access to a reliable, high-speed internet provider.
- Q: Do I need employees?
- A: Yes. Depending on the time of day, and the number of terminals, you can expect to need 1-4 employees to handle responsibilities such as cleaning and maintenance, cash drawers, customer service, and more.
- Q: What kind of furniture do I need? Desks/chairs/kiosks?
- A: It's up to you. Cost is certainly a factor when considering the furniture you will be using at your store. For surfaces, one possible solution is simply wide, folding tables upon which many terminals can be placed. There are also companies that manufacture terminal kiosks. Above all, keep your customers comfortable! We would be happy to discuss these kinds of options with you, so please feel free to contact us!
- Q: Should I provide any other amenities?
- A: Your goal is to keep people in your store, and to keep them happy and comfortable, so that they enjoy their time and feel that they are getting a good return on their dollars. You'll want to scout your competition to see what you're up against. You might want to consider items such as a lounge, big-screen TV's, refreshments (soda fountains, beverage and snack machines, a bar), etc.
- Q: How many workstations should I have in my store?
- A: This is another factor where cost comes into play. Depending on the amount of space and startup capital that you have, or the leasing agreement that you would like to negotiate, you may choose to have only a few terminals, or you may choose to have 60-100, or more.
- Q: Am I leasing these machines? Can I use my own hardware?
- A: You have the option of buying or leasing the terminals directly through us, and we will handle all setup, maintenance, and repair of the machines. You are also free to use your own hardware. However, in this case, we will only assist in the setup of the machines. You will be responsible for any maintenance and repairs, unless you have purchased a service agreement through us. Contact us to discuss mutually beneficial options.