New Jersey Isn’t Allowed to Enter Latest National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest

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Ready for some really, really crazy news?

According to a recent report on NJ.com, the latest National Geographic Traveller Photo contest is banned from residents living in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, Syria and New Jersey. While all of those areas seem like enemies of the state (kidding, New Jersey!) it seems a bit odd that Nat Geo would make the armpit of America the odd man out. But the reason for this is because New Jersey has a law that forbids the entering of a skill-based contest that requires an entry fee.

So why is this an issue? Apparently, it is due to a misinterpretation of laws involving internet gambling. But there was a clarification made in a legislature that tries to argue that something like this isn’t gambling per se; and yet there are still odd problems with the law. This clarification was made back in January of this year, and tries to differentiate a game of poker that involves skill and something like a photography or baking contest.

The company’s annual traveller contest has top prizes ranging from a trip to Alaska to workshops and gift certificates. And according to the rules, you need to enter $15 per entry. Beyond this, it has some interesting rules like:

“Only minor burning, dodging and/or color correction is acceptable, as is cropping. High dynamic range images (HDR) and stitched panoramas are NOT acceptable. Any changes to the original Photograph not itemized here are unacceptable and will render the Photograph ineligible for a prize.”

But as you continue to read further, you’ll also see that you’re essentially paying $15 to give up all your rights to the image. Better luck next time, New Jersey..that is unless an amendment to the contest is made.