Curious about Patreon’s stance on raffles or giveaways? Read on

Hi everyone!

I work on the Trust and Safety team here at Patreon and part of my job is to ensure all our creators know and understand our community guidelines and terms of use.

To do so, earlier this year we kicked off a monthly email series featuring articles from our Trust and Safety team that showcase the logic, thought process, and decisions we make as a company. So far we’ve talked about how we create content policies, the DMCA, 2-factor authentication, and our policies regarding doxing and online piracy.

We’ll continue sharing more insights, tips and recommendations from our Trust and Safety team, and today we published a post about one of the most requested topics by our community - Patreon’s stance on Raffles, Contests and Giveaways. You can read it here.

We hope that this article helps to clarify several questions that have lingered around this topic:

  • Why doesn’t Patreon allow raffles?
  • What types of contests are allowed?
  • What types of contests are not allowed?

Plus, we offer some fun and effective alternative benefits creators can set up. Check it out now.

If you’re interested in learning more about other Trust and Safety related topics, at the end of the article you can subscribe to be notified of future posts.

If you have questions or comments, leave them below and I’ll be happy to address them!


Fantastic write up! Helps clear up a lot of questions I had, BUT what about this scenario…

I run a referral contest and whoever refers the most new patrons… wins! There’s no chance involved, and they’re using a recommendation or positive review (hopefully) to drive new patrons to my page.

Seems like this should be allowed, no?


@iamthesam I’m glad you found the article useful and thanks for asking that question! In terms of our guidelines on Raffles, the scenario you mentioned is totally fine since, as you said, there’s no chance factor involved.

With that said, be sure your contest is fostering genuine referrals and that the desire to win doesn’t lead some patrons to violate our community guidelines for spam.

If you have other questions, I’m happy to help answering them. :slight_smile:


Guess I’ve been running illegal giveaways then…
I often get free gear from manufacturers (or have my own stuff), and I usually put one aside dedicated to my Patrons.
I get the Patron names in a spreadsheet and then draw a random patron.
What on earth is wrong with GIVING AWAY something to an existing Patron?
They don’t enter, they don’t pay anything (apart from being a patreon, all levels are equal BTW), I just occasionally chose someone and give them something.

What about if you simply notify backers, about a giveaway outside of Patreon that only a certain level of Patrons can access the page for? Is that accepted?

I think that’s the problem. I believe that in many legal jurisdictions, if someone can only enter because they’ve paid something at some point, then it’s considered gambling. If you gave away something to anyone, patron or not, then it wouldn’t.

Hi @EEVblog , thanks for sharing your thoughts and concerns, let me try to help.

I can’t talk to whether you’ve been running illegal giveaways because, as the blog article mentions, the legality of chance-based contests varies from state to state and country to country. Since we want to protect creators and patrons from accidentally infringing local laws regarding gambling, we decided to not allow gambling contests on Patreon altogether.

In the case you described, it’s as @domenico said - because your giveaways are available only to patrons, in effect only someone who pays (a patron) has the chance to earn that giveaway - this falls the classification of gambling and therefore we can’t allow it on Patreon. Whether winners/participants were already patrons before the raffle was announced does not change this scenario, because you’re still announcing and creating the expectation that anyone who becomes or stays your patron might (but might also not) get a giveaway at some point.

In the blog article we share many alternative benefit strategies you can use to reward your community when you have one-off/limited gear. Check it out and if any of them peaks your curiosity and/or you have additional questions, let’s talk - I’m happy to help you transition from giveaways to other benefits that are allowed in our Benefit guidelines.

Hope this was clear and useful :slight_smile:

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Hi @gamingonlinux, I think I understand the scenario you’re asking about, but correct me if I seem off-mark - You, or someone, organize a giveaway outside of Patreon, and you directly warn some but not all of your patrons that the giveaway is happening. Is this correct?

In that scenario it depends where the giveaway is happening, if it’s available and discoverable by everyone or only a subset of people, namely (some of) your patrons.

If you are just advertising a giveaway that you or someone else is organizing outside of Patreon and that giveaway is publicly available and discoverable, with no cost to participate, then that’s ok. In that scenario, even though some of your patrons would get a direct warning that the giveaway is happening, anyone that follows you (on social media, your website, or elsewhere where that giveaway would happen) would have equal chance to participate.

If, on the other hand, the giveaway is happening on a private forum (eg your private discord) and patrons get privileged access by being patrons, then it is not ok.

Does that sound like it answers your question? :slight_smile:

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Yes it does, I don’t agree with it though but I’m not going to be able to change your mind on it I’m sure.

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Interesting intersection of the law and human behavior. The creator choice makes sense on the surface level, but psychology has taught us that a choice is anything but autonomous at the end of the day.

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