The term “lottery” is any scheme or promotion, whether lawful under the laws of any state, which, on paying a consideration, offers a prize dependent in whole or in part on lot or chance. Lottery matter refers to any check, draft, bill, money, postal note, or money order that is sent through the mail for the purchase of any ticket or part thereof; for the purchase of any share or chance in any such lottery, gift enterprise, or scheme; or for the payment of prepaid taxes or fees purportedly required to collect lottery winnings.
Mailed lottery tickets and related matter are statutorily defined as nonmailable pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3001, Nonmailable matter. Specifically, 39 U.S.C. 3001(a) states that matter deposited in the mail which is punishable under 18 U.S.C. 1302, Mailing lottery tickets or related matter, is nonmailable and subject to criminal penalties. The term “related matter” includes funds remitted through the mail as noted in section 456.1 and DMM 601.9.3.
Excluding fishing contests, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and lotteries, as defined in DMM 601.9.3.3, the following, among other factors, may be considered when determining whether a mailing constitutes nonmailable lottery matter:
- Statements made by the sender or recipient that the mailing contains lottery-related material.
- The mailing matches a pre-established profile of lottery-related mailings based on the sender’s return address.
- Evidence that the recipient address is used to receive lottery-related mailings.