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It is illegal for any company to make money off a sweepstakes. That's why you hear many media announcers say, “no purchase necessary!” It's not to say that companies won't ask you to do a task in order to be entered in a contest, like take a fun survey. Beer companies have been known to do this. If it is a lesser known company, it's still fine since you don't have to pay for anything.
However, if they ask you to give them your credit card number as a deposit don't trust them. Even if they say it's just to reserve a space in the contest. This is a sweepstakes “no-no.”