Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to Raffle Your House for a Profit. Maybe.

I. Introduction

With home prices continuing to slide and profitable home sales hard to come by, a new sales vehicle has sprung up in real estate – the house raffle. [1] While a raffle can sell a home quickly and for the full retail price, it is fraught with pitfalls. A wholly private house raffle is illegal and considered “gambling” in Georgia. Charitable § 501(c) corporations can conduct raffles and sell houses, but any “profit” over and above the sale price goes to the charity not the homeowner. The lucky raffle “winner” gets a very valuable house for a tiny fraction of its price. However, the “winner” also gets a nasty tax bill from Uncle Sam that must be paid in cash, even though the winner does not receive any cash. Tennessee is conducting big raffles, but most sister state raffle rules are similar to Georgia’s.

II. Sensational Newspaper Headlines

No doubt interest in home raffles is stoked by sensational newspaper headlines such as: "Danville [California] couple wins $2 million House in Raffle," Mercury News, February 23, 2009," $100.00 Raffle Ticket Gets Man a $390,000.00 House. [Maryland]," CBS News, March 24, 2008, and “Amy Grant appear[s] on stage . . . for the raffle of Saint Jude dream home - a 3,871 square foot house valued at $650,000.00…[Tennessee],” County Singers Promote Dream Home Raffle," LookToTheStars, February 28, 2008.

III. For Profit Raffles Are Prohibited

So, is it legal for a homeowner to raffle a house in Georgia and keep the profits? The simple answer in Georgia is, "No." OCGA Code § 16-12-20. [2] The law in most states is found in their Code under the heading of Lottery, Bingo or Raffle. [3] In Georgia, it is considered to be illegal gaming to conduct a "for-profit" raffle. [4]

The Georgia case law is fairly well established on this issue. A "for profit" raffle [5] violates the private lottery statute, since it contains all prohibited elements: 1) a prize (the house), 2) chance (one person will win the house), and 3) consideration (the price of the raffle ticket). [6] A raffle falls within the prohibited definition of a lottery pursuant to OCGA § 16-12-20, whether it is called a "raffle" or referred to by some other creative name. [7] For example, a chinese auction, a calcutta pool, a penny social, a tombola (if played for money), a tricky tray or pick-a-prize are all prohibited, if they are played for a profit. [8]

Some states have statutory prohibitions against raffles of real estate. [9] New Hampshire banned real estate raffles. Its supreme court held that its "raffle" statute did not include the raffling of a "real estate" even by a non-profit. [10]

IV. Non-Profit Raffles Are Allowed

The prohibition against raffles in Georgia is not the same for § 501(c) non-profit organizations. OCGA § 16-12-22.1(a). [11] "[I]t is the intention of the [Georgia] General Assembly that only non-profit, tax exempt, ... § 501(c) organizations ... shall be allowed to operate raffles." [12] In Georgia, only a non-profit that has been in existence for two (2) years may apply to the County Sheriff where the raffle is to be held for a "license" to operate a raffle. The fee is about $100.00. [13] As you might expect, there is no extant uniformity for Sheriff’s raffle licenses across Georgia’s 159 counties.



V. How House Raffles Are Presently Conducted

A few charities in Georgia are conducing house raffles in Atlanta, Gainesville and Alpharetta. But the basic “how to” procedure remains, in Georgia, largely unknown. [14] Only one state, Maryland, seems to provide a skeletal statutory framework for the entire house raffle process. [15]

Given that there is no uniformly recognized method to conduct a house raffle, the following outline is “what is occurring,” right now in the United States: 1) the homeowner sells or agrees to sell the house at market value (some states require an appraisal) to a non-profit corporation; 2) the non-profit corporation runs the raffle and if the raffle generates enough cash closes on the transaction (buys the house) with the homeowner; 3) if the raffle generates excess cash (above the sales price) the non-profit keeps the excess as a charitable contribution.

A newspaper that interviewed the § 501(c) that conducted a very successful house raffle in California, The San Mar Children's Home, published the following suggestions. [16] The homeowner must partner with a § 501(c) organization that actually “wants to” conduct the raffle. The homeowner and the § 501(c) must heavily market the raffle; lack of marketing will cause the raffle to fail. If the ticket prices are low, $50.00, $100.00, the § 501(c) must have a user-friendly webpage and secure credit card purchasing site. The § 501(c) must maintain meticulous records and have an accounting firm or CPA review the raffle financial records. § 501(c)’s must avoid desperate homeowners; they will not allow enough time to correctly conduct the raffle. Lack of a significant raffle timeframe (time to sell the necessary number of tickets) dooms the raffle to failure.

Texas and Maryland allow real estate raffles by statute. [17] Other states must allow it, since home raffles are proceeding in California, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee. This is not a complete list.

In a non-profit raffle, the winning raffle ticket holder wins the house. The losing raffle ticket holders are not considered, by law, to have made a charitable contribution to the § 501(c). [18] The upside of a successful raffle is good for both the homeowner and the charity; the house sells and the charity gets a big contribution. If the ticket sales are bad and the target sales amount is not reached, the house does not sell and the cash from the ticket sales must be refunded. Raffle refund provisions are cumbersome and in some states failure to refund may be a misdemeanor. [19] Massachusetts and Wisconsin require refunds by statue. [20]

VI. Income Tax Problems Associated with Raffles

Tax issues sink many house raffles. The Secretary of State of Maryland reported at end of 2008 that of ten house raffles that had obtained permits only one had been successful. [21] One of the major reasons for the failure of the Maryland raffles was the shocking income tax load to the winner. [22]

Consider the tax implications of winning the house in a raffle. Assume the raffle concerns a $200,000 house. Assume that an individual with a $75,000.00 gross income pays approximately 25% of his or her gross income in taxes or $18,750.00 in taxes per year. Winning a $200,000.00 house for a $100.00 investment in a raffle ticket generates the following distortion in gross income (IRC Code § 61). The $75,000.00 a year winner will see his or her income spike to $275,000.00 in gross income (though $200,000.00 of it is in the non-cash receipt of the raffled house). He or she will see the income tax load increase to $68,750.00, even if we artificially keep the tax rate at 25%. The tax load on our “winner” will move from $18,750.00 to $68,750.00. The win generates an additional $50,000.00 of income tax due for which the recipient receives no cash from the raffle.

The “winner” gets the joy of filing out IRS Form 5754, “Receipt of Gambling Winnings.” The § 501(c) sends the winner a W2-G and “withholds” 25% of the winnings. The § 501(c) must pay the IRS 25% in cash as withholding without regard to whether the § 501(c) collects the cash from the “winner.” If the § 501(c) fails to withhold, it becomes liable for the tax. IRS Pub. 3079. [23] That’s the rub. How do you withhold 25% in cash of a non-cash asset? Some raffles have set up a mortgage lender to loan the withholding to the winner, but (so far) there is no nationwide consensus on this problem. Given that the winner may reject the house based on the tax consequences, some raffles state that a 2nd and 3rd, and so on, winner will be drawn until someone “accepts” the grand prize. [24] Beyond the tax problems, the § 501(c) needs to state that it sells the house “as is,” “with all faults,” and obtains a complete release at the time it sells the raffle ticket.

VII. Raffles Are Not Allowed on Ebay® and Paypal®

Can you use Ebay® to run a profit or non-profit raffle or to handle the cumbersome refund provisions of the raffle? No. Ebay's® Contract of Terms prohibit games of chance. [25] The same terms are in force at California based PayPal®. PayPal® prohibits "Raffles and Auctions of 'Chance.' " [26] Thus, the § 501(c) or homeowner will need to buy into a system that sells tickets and handles the refund responsibilities.

VIII. Advertising Problems

Georgia does not seem to have any advertising restrictions associated with home raffles. Forget Broker, Realtor®, MLS or FMLS interest in advertising or promoting raffles; under most procedures in use, there is no recognized method for them to earn a commission. Texas and Arkansas prohibit TV and Internet sales of raffles. [27] The State of Washington limits the entire process to 12 days. [28]

IX. Raffles in Georgia's Sister States

If you can't raffle in Georgia, what about crossing the state line and selling in some tickets in states near Georgia? As least as far as Georgia's contiguous sister states are concerned, the "for profit" raffle is prohibited there also.

Alabama has an absolute prohibition on raffles for profit. [29] So, forget crossing the bridge and selling tickets in Phenix City, Alabama. Tennessee prohibits "for profit" raffles and has a very bizarre (and costly) registration scheme for non-profit raffles. [30] Notwithstanding, Tennessee seems to have an active non-profit raffle industry. Tennessee is one of the few states that actually mentions the raffle of "real property" in its statutes. [31] South Carolina prohibits "for profit" raffles. [32] This very question, "may a house be raffled," was recently posed by a member of the South Carolina Legislature to the Attorney General of South Carolina for a formal opinion. While not controlling on Georgia law, the South Carolina Attorney General's response was a blistering "No." At this writing, there is a bill pending in the South Carolina General Assembly to change this answer. [33] North Carolina allows non-profit raffles, but prohibits private profit raffles. [34] Florida prohibits for profit raffles, [35] but allows non-profit raffles. [36]

X. Conclusion

Raffles are a sign of the times. As long as housing prices continue to decline, there will be continued interest in such novel sale procedures as the "raffle" of a personal residence. Despite the tax implications of the raffle, a motivated seller and creative charity can use this novel procedure to sell a home in Georgia.

Hugh Wood
Atlanta, GA



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Endnotes

[1]

The history of Raffles: Ever since, Elizabeth Taylor rode National Velvet to the Grand National, people have been fascinated with raffles. National Velvet (Film) (1935). Bagnold, Enid (Algerine) National Velvet (About a girl who wins the Grand National on a horse won in a raffle).

Raffles were born out of a game in southern Italy. The original name for the numbers out of which the winners were drawn is called the "tambola," a term still used extensively in England. Lottery History, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

The first sanctioned lottery in England was: Proclamation of the Lottery, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth (I), Summer of 1567, London. Youngs, Fredrick A., The Proclamations of the Tudor Queens, Archive Publishers (1976) at 277. See Also, Lotteries, Encyclopedia Britannica.

[2]

OCGA § 16-12-20. Definitions.
As used in this part, the term:
(1) "Bet" means an agreement that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value. A bet does not include:
(A) Contracts of indemnity or guaranty or life, health, property, or accident insurance; or
(B) An offer of a prize, award, or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength, or endurance or to the owners of animals, vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft entered in such contest.
(2) "Gambling device" means:
(A) Any contrivance which for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain money or other thing of value, the award of which is determined by chance even though accompanied by some skill, whether or not the prize is automatically paid by contrivance;
(B) Any slot machine or any simulation or variation thereof;
(C) Any matchup or lineup game machine or device, operated for any consideration, in which two or more numerals, symbols, letters, or icons align in a winning combination on one or more lines vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or otherwise, without assistance by the player. Use of skill stops shall not be considered assistance by the player; or
(D) Any video game machine or device, operated for any consideration, for the play of poker, blackjack, any other card game, or keno or any simulation or variation of any of the foregoing, including, but not limited to, any game in which numerals, numbers, or any pictures, representations, or symbols are used as an equivalent or substitute for cards in the conduct of such game. Any item described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph shall be a prohibited gambling device subject to and prohibited by this part, notwithstanding any inference to the contrary in any other law of this state.
(3) "Gambling place" means any real estate, building, room, tent, vehicle, boat, or other property whatsoever, one of the principal uses of which is the making or settling of bets; the receiving, holding, recording, or forwarding of bets or offers to bet; or the conducting of a lottery or the playing of gambling devices.
(4) "Lottery" means any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize, whether such scheme or procedure is called a pool, lottery, raffle, gift, gift enterprise, sale, policy game, or by some other name. A lottery shall also include the organization of chain letter or pyramid clubs as provided in Code Section 16-12-38. A lottery shall not mean a:
(A) Promotional giveaway or contest which conforms with the qualifications of a lawful promotion specified in paragraph (16) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393;
(B) Scheme whereby a business gives away prizes to persons selected by lot if such prizes are made on the following conditions:
(i) Such prizes are conducted as advertising and promotional undertakings in good faith solely for the purpose of advertising the goods, wares, and merchandise of such business; and
(ii) No person to be eligible to receive such prize shall be required to:
(I) Pay any tangible consideration to the operator of such business in the form of money or other property or thing of value;
(II) Purchase any goods, wares, merchandise, or anything of value from such business; or
(III) Be present or be asked to participate in a seminar, sales presentation, or any other presentation, by whatever name denominated, in order to win such prizes; or Raffle authorized under Code Section 16-12-22.1.

[3]

A review of the terms of remaining 49 states reveals the colorful language surrounding this unique human activity.

Alabama

Bingo, raffle boards, punchboards, 'tip' boards, or raffle or chance cards or tickets in Alabama. Private Lotteries seem to be illegal. An unlawful gambling scheme in which the players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other medium, one or more of which chances are to be designated by the winning ones; and the winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other fortuitous method; and the holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value. It's a rough state for raffles, "Chuck E. Cheese," was pinched for running an illegal lottery.

Alaska

Raffle, animal classic, raffle of rat, hamster, gerbil or other rodent, ... , an activity involving the chance of chicken manure on a lettered grid, ... , bingo, Calcutta pool, ..., canned salmon classic, ..., sandhill crane classic, deep freeze classic, dog mushers classic, fishing derby, goose classic, ice classic, mercury (temperature) classic, pull-tab classis, Seward race classic, rain classic, snow machine classic, ... raffle to harvest Dall sheep, bison, musk ox, brown or grizzly bear, moose, caribou and wolf.

Arizona

Games of bingo, raffles, amusement gambling and social gambling.

Arkansas

Raffle, dice to be thrown for money, gambling with cards, dominoes, numbered or lettered grid, bingo and pull tab bingo.

California

Raffle means a scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance among persons who have paid money for paper tickets that provide the opportunity to win prizes.

Colorado

Refers to it as "bingo-raffle."

Connecticut

Bazaar, cow-chip raffle, cow-chip bingo, tea-cup raffle, duck-race raffle, frog race raffle. [This is not in the Connecticut Code, but it describes a Cow Chip Raffle.] A Cow Chip Raffle: On a grid of 750 squares, or thereabouts, paint a grid on the ground. Each square will be assigned a number and will be 2 feet by 2 feet. Three well-fed cows will be let loose on the grid to, well, let their chips fall where they may. Prizes will be based upon the order in which the chips fall and upon the number of the square where the cow leaves its chip.

Delaware

No discussion of "raffle," but pari-mutuel wagering on jai-alai exhibitions are deemed not a lottery.

District of Columbia

Bingo game, raffle, or Monte Carlo night party

Florida

Raffle, Bingo and drawing by chance.

Hawaii

Raffle, lottery and mutual scheme.

Idaho

Raffle, Duck-Race and Idaho has a formal "Bingo-Raffle Advisory Board."

Illinois

Raffle: A "lottery" is any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prizes, whether such scheme or procedure is called a lottery, raffle, gift, sale or some other name.

Indiana

Bingo event, charity game, raffle, door prize, festival, pull tab, punchboard and tip board.

Iowa

"Raffle" means a lottery in which each participant buys a ticket for a chance at a prize with the winner determined by a random method and the winner is not required to be present to win. "Raffle" does not include a slot machine. Bingo, Game of skill, game of chance or raffle; pyramid raffles prohibited.

Kansas

Prizes by chance, lottery, punch boards, dog race betting and radio giveaway.

Kentucky

Bingo, raffle and charity fund raising event.

Louisiana

Raffle, games of chance, bingo, super bingo or keno.

Maine

Raffle, door-prize, bingo, Beano, High-Stakes Beano and organization may not raffle live fowl, turtles or rabbits.

Maryland

Raffle means a lottery using paper chances, a paddle wheel, a wheel of fortune, a chance book, bingo or a raffle.

Massachusetts

A raffle or bazaar.

Michigan

Raffle, bingo game, millionaire party, numeral game or charity game.

Minnesota

Lottery, bingo, pull-tab, tipboard, paddlewheel and raffle games.

Mississippi

Raffle and bingo.

Missouri

Lottery.

Montana

Raffle, live bingo, keno and promotional game of chance.

Nebraska

Raffle shall mean a gambling scheme in which (a) participants pay or agree to pay something of value for an opportunity to win, (b) winning opportunities are represented by tickets differentiated by sequential enumeration, (c) winners are determined by a random drawing of the tickets . . . and (d) at least eighty percent of all of the prizes to be awarded are merchandise prizes which are not directly or indirectly redeemable for cash by the licensed organization conducting the raffle or any agent of the organization.

Nevada

Lottery, raffle or gift enterprise.

New Hampshire

Raffle, prize, premium, beano and lucky 7.

New Jersey

Raffle, penny auction, lottery, game of chance, big six wheel and big eight wheel.

New Mexico

Bingo, raffle and games of chance.

New York

Raffle, games of chance currency, merchandise wheels, coin boards, merchandise boards, seal cards, raffles, bell jars and flare.

North Carolina

Raffle, contest, sweepstakes, bingo, chicken plate fund-raising or lottery. It seems that the following may be allowed at agricultural events: "Casino event" shall not include a fair, bazaar, field days, agricultural exposition or similar event which utilizes a wheel of fortune, chuck-a-luck or other such games commonly conducted at such events, or break-open tickets, bingo, a lottery or a raffle.

North Dakota

Bingo, raffle, pull tabs, prize boards and sports pools. For ND Residents only, raffle of moose, big horn sheep, elk and antelope license.

Ohio

Defines raffle as a form of Bingo (that's odd). Illegal to give away any rabbit or baby poultry which has been dyed or otherwise colored. Also, called punch board.

Oklahoma

A lottery is any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance among persons who have paid, or promised, or agreed to pay any valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining such property, or a portion of it, or for any share of or interest in such property, upon any agreement, understanding or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of by a lot or chance, whether called a lottery, a raffle, or a gift enterprise, or by whatever name the same may be known.

Oregon

"Casino game" means any of the traditional gambling-based games commonly known as dice, faro, monte, roulette, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, Texas hold-'em, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck, Chinese chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panquinqui, red dog, acey-deucey, or any other gambling-based game similar in form or content. Also, Bingo, lotto or raffle games, Monte Carlo events.

Cannot raffle off alcohol in Oregon (what a shame).

Pennsylvania

Illegal lotteries, gambling and bookmaking are prohibited as delineated in 18 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5512 (lotteries), 5513 (gaming devices, gambling) and 5514 (pool selling, bookmaking).

Rhode Island

Lottery commonly known as a "twenty-week club" or a raffle conducted by a charitable organization, beano and bingo.

South Carolina

The word 'lottery' it has been held, has no technical, legal meaning but must be construed in the popular sense. It has been variously defined by lexicographers, legal authors, judges, and, in some instances, by statute; and Webster's definition, 'a scheme for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance,' has been quoted with approval by numerous authorities, and also Worcester's definition as 'a distribution of prizes and blanks by chance, a game of hazard in which small sums are ventured for the chance of obtaining a larger value either in money or in other articles.' Other definitions often adopted by the Courts are: 'Where a pecuniary consideration is paid, and it is determined by lot or chance, according to some scheme held out to the public, what and how much he who pays the money is to have for it, that is a lottery'; and 'A scheme by which a result is reached by some action or means taken, and in which result man's choice or will has no part, nor can human reason, foresight, sagacity, or design enable him to know or determine such result until the same has been accomplished.' An example of a statutory definition of a lottery is, 'A scheme for the distribution of property by chance, among persons who have paid or agreed to pay a valuable consideration for the chance, whether called a lottery, raffle, or gift enterprise or by some other name.

South Dakota

A lottery is any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance, directly or indirectly, among persons who have paid or promised to pay any valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining such property, or a portion of it, or for any share of, or interest in such property, upon any agreement, understanding, or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of by lot or chance, whether called a lottery, a raffle, a gift enterprise, or by whatever name the same may be known.

Tennessee

Bingo game, raffle or similar game of chance.

Texas

"Raffle" means the award of one or more prizes by chance at a single occasion among a single pool or group of persons who have paid or promised a thing of value for a ticket that represents a chance to win a prize; "Reverse raffle" means a raffle in which the last ticket or tickets drawn are considered the winning tickets.

A prize offered or awarded at a raffle may not be money; the value of a prize offered or awarded at a raffle that is purchased by the organization or for which the organization provides any consideration may not exceed $50,000; the value of a residential dwelling offered or awarded as a prize at a raffle that is purchased by the organization or for which the organization provides any consideration may not exceed $250,000.

A lottery is "any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win anything of value, whether such scheme or procedure is called a pool, lottery, raffle, gift, gift enterprise, sale, policy game, or some other name."

Texas has a Bingo Enabling Act provides and, under separate statutes, bingo, raffle, Schools are allowed to conduct raffles.

Utah

Lottery: means any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance among persons who have paid or promised to pay any valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining property, or portion of it, or for any share or any interest in property, upon any agreement, understanding, or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of by lot or chance, whether called a lottery, raffle, or gift enterprise, or by whatever name it may be known.

Vermont

Lottery, raffle and bingo Game of Chance.

Virginia

Instant bingo cards, pull-tab raffle cards, lottery and duck-race.

Washington

Raffle, bingo game, fishing derbies (not a raffle), social card games, bingo, raffle, and punchboard games, and pull-tabs, raffle to hunt big game.

West Virginia

Raffle, raffle board, bingo and lottery.

Wisconsin

Raffle, Bingo, Elk and Bear Hunting License Raffle.

Wyoming

Calcutta Wagering, raffle, bingo, pulltab, cutter horse racing, dog sled racing, professional rodeo event, professional golf tournament and raffle elk, deer or antelope designated licenses.

[4]

Sparkman v. The State, 209 Ga.App. 763, 434 S.E.2d 564 (1993); Tierce v. State, 122 Ga.App. 845, 178 S.E.2d 913 (1970). A Gwinnett County man, Joseph Imafidon, found himself arrested and charged with running an illegal “for profit,” raffle in March of 2009. His website is
www.getmyhouse.net.

[5]

A "Raffle" [in Georgia] means any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize. Such term shall also include door prizes which are awarded to persons attending meetings or activities provided that the cost of admission to such meetings or activities does not exceed the usual cost of similar activities where such prizes are not awarded.

[6]

Boyd v. Piggly Wiggly Southern, 115 Ga.App. 628, 633, 155 S.E.2d 630 (1967); Defendants convicted of running a "numbers game." They were convicted under "lottery statute," which statute also prohibits raffles. [ * * * ] "Lottery" is defined by OCGA § 16-12-20(4) as "any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize, whether such scheme or procedure is called a pool, lottery, raffle, gift, gift enterprise, sale, policy game, or by some other name." Appellants contend that the "essence of a lottery as defined by Georgia law is the distribution of one or more prizes among persons who have paid or promised a consideration for a chance to win such a prize. It contemplates a pool of prizes or money to be distributed among the players." Sparkman v. The State, 209 Ga.App. 763, 434 S.E.2d 564 (1993)

[7]

Tierce v. State, 122 Ga.App. 845 , 178 S.E.2d 913 (1970) (Manager of Piggly-Wiggly guilty of running a forprofit lottery, even though he mailed "Jackpot" cards to customers for no consideration.)


[8]

The names for raffles and private lotteries run the gamet. Alaska statutes refer to it as a "Calcutta Pool" Alaska Stat. § 05.15.180. See also, pull-tab games, race classics, rain classics, goose classics, mercury classics, deep freeze classics, dog mushers' contests, snow machine classics, canned salmon classics, salmon classics, animal classics, crane classics, Calcutta pools, and king salmon classics.

[9]

N.D. Cent. Code § 53-06.1-10.1. (North Dakota) Raffles. A prize for a raffle may be cash or merchandise but may not be real estate.

[10]

Boys' Club of Nashua, Inc. vs. The Attorney General of New Hampshire, 122 N.H. 325, 444 A.2d 541 (1982).

[11]

OCGA § 16-12-22.1(a).

[12]

OCGA § 16-12-22.1. Raffles Operated By Nonprofit, Tax-exempt Organizations.
(a) It is the intention of the General Assembly that only nonprofit, tax-exempt churches, schools, civic organizations, or related support groups; nonprofit organizations qualified under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or bona fide nonprofit organizations approved by the sheriff, which are properly licensed pursuant to this Code section shall be allowed to operate raffles.
(b) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Nonprofit, tax-exempt organization" means churches, schools, civic organizations, or related support groups; nonprofit organizations qualified under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or bona fide nonprofit organizations approved by the sheriff.
(2) "Operate," "operated," or "operating" means the direction, supervision, management, operation, control, or guidance of activity.
(3) "Raffle" means any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize. Such term shall also include door prizes which are awarded to persons attending meetings or activities provided that the cost of admission to such meetings or activities does not exceed the usual cost of similar activities where such prizes are not awarded.
(4) "Sheriff" means the sheriff of the county in which the nonprofit tax-exempt organization is located.
(c) Any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, no nonprofit, tax-exempt organization shall be permitted to operate a raffle until the sheriff issues a license to the organization authorizing it to do so. The license described in this subsection is in addition to and not in lieu of any other licenses which may be required by this state or any political subdivision thereof, and no raffle shall be operated until such time as all requisite licenses have been obtained. In the event a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization desires to conduct a raffle in more than one county, such organization shall not be required to obtain a license under this Code section in each county in which such raffle is to be conducted and shall only be required to obtain such license from the sheriff of the county in which the state headquarters of such organization are located.
(d)(1) Any nonprofit, tax-exempt organization desiring to obtain a license to operate raffles shall make application to the sheriff on forms prescribed by the sheriff. The sheriff may require the payment of an annual fee not to exceed $100.00. No license shall be issued to any nonprofit, tax-exempt organization unless the organization has been in existence for 24 months immediately prior to the issuance of the license. The license will expire at 12:00 Midnight on December 31 following the granting of the license.
Renewal applications for each calendar year shall be filed with the sheriff prior to January 1 of each year and shall be on a form prescribed by the sheriff.
(2) Each application for a license and each application for renewal of a license shall contain the following information:
(A) The name and home address of the applicant and, if the applicant is a corporation, association, or other similar legal entity, the names and home addresses of each of the officers of the organization as well as the names and addresses of the directors, or other persons similarly situated, of the organization;
(B) The names and home addresses of each of the persons who will be operating, advertising, or promoting the raffle;
(C) The names and home addresses of any persons, organizations, or other legal entities that will act as surety for the applicant or to which the applicant is financially indebted or to which any financial obligation is owed by the applicant;
(D) A determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service certifying that the applicant is an organization exempt under federal tax law;
(E) A determination letter from the Georgia Department of Revenue certifying that the applicant is exempt under the tax laws of this state;
(F) The location at which the applicant will conduct the raffles and, if the premises on which the raffles are to be conducted is to be leased, a copy of the lease or rental agreement; and
(G) A statement showing the convictions, if any, for criminal offenses other than minor traffic offenses of each of the persons listed in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this paragraph.
(3) The sheriff shall refuse to grant a raffle license to any applicant who fails to provide fully the information required by this Code section.
(4) When a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization which operates or intends to operate raffles for residents and patients of a retirement home, nursing home, or hospital operated by that organization at which gross receipts are or will be limited to $100.00 or less during each raffle and pays or will pay prizes having a value of $100.00 or less during each raffle, then, notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section or any rule or regulation promulgated by the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of subsection (l) of this Code section, neither the applicant nor any of the persons whose names and addresses are required under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be required to submit or provide fingerprints or photographs as a condition of being granted a license.
(e)(1) The sheriff shall have the specific authority to suspend or revoke any license for any violation of this Code section. Any licensee accused of violating any provision of this Code section shall be entitled, unless waived, to a hearing on the matter of the alleged violation conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
(2) By making application for a license under this Code section, every applicant consents that the sheriff, as well as any of his agents, together with any prosecuting attorney, as well as any of his agents, may come upon the premises of any licensee or upon any premises on which any licensee is conducting a raffle for the purpose of examining the accounts and records of the licensee to determine if a violation of this Code section has occurred.
(f) The sheriff shall, upon the request of any prosecuting attorney or such prosecuting attorney's designee, certify the status of any organization as to that organization's exemption from payment of state income taxes as a nonprofit organization. The sheriff shall also upon request issue a certificate indicating whether any particular organization holds a currently valid license to operate a raffle. Such certificates properly executed shall be admissible in evidence in any prosecution, and Code Section 48-7-60, relative to the disclosure of income tax information, shall not apply to the furnishing of such certificate.
(g) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Code section, the sheriff, upon receiving written evidence of the bona fide nonprofit, tax-exempt status of the applicant organization, shall be authorized to issue a special limited license to a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization which will allow it to operate up to three raffles during a calendar year. In such cases, the sheriff shall waive the application and license fee provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section and the annual report provided for in subsection (j) of this Code section.
(h) Raffles shall be operated only on premises owned by the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization operating the raffle, on property leased by the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and used regularly by that organization for purposes other than the operation of a raffle, or on property leased by the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization operating the raffle from another nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.
(i) No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to play any raffle conducted pursuant to any license issued under this Code section unless accompanied by an adult.
(j) On or before April 15 of each year, every nonprofit, tax-exempt organization engaged in operating raffles shall file with the sheriff a report disclosing all receipts and expenditures relating to the operation of raffles in the previous year. The report shall be in addition to all other reports required by law. The report shall be prepared and signed by a certified public accountant competent to prepare such a report and shall be deemed a public record subject to public inspection.
(k)(1) A licensee that conducts or operates a raffle shall maintain the following records for at least three years from the date on which the raffle is conducted:
(A) An itemized list of the gross receipts for each raffle;
(B) An itemized list of all expenses other than prizes that are incurred in the conducting of the raffle as well as the name of each person to whom the expenses are paid and a receipt for all of the expenses;
(C) A list of all prizes awarded during the raffle and the name and address of all persons who are winners of prizes of $50.00 or more in value;
(D) An itemized list of the recipients other than the licensee of the proceeds of the raffle, including the name and address of each recipient to whom such funds are distributed; and
(E) A record of the number of persons who participate in any raffle conducted by the licensee.
(2) A licensee shall:
(A) Own all the equipment used to conduct a raffle or lease such equipment from an organization that is also licensed to conduct a raffle;
(B) Display its raffle license conspicuously at the location where the raffle is conducted;
(C) Conduct raffles only as specified in the licensee's application; and
(D) Not conduct more than one raffle during any one calendar day.
(3) No nonprofit, tax-exempt organization shall enter into any contract with any individual, firm, association, or corporation to have such individual, firm, association, or corporation operate raffles or concessions on behalf of the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.
(4) A nonprofit, tax-exempt organization shall not lend its name nor allow its identity to be used by any individual, firm, association, or corporation in the operating or advertising of a raffle in which said nonprofit, tax-exempt organization is not directly and solely operating the raffle.
(5) No person shall pay consulting fees to any person for any services performed in relation to the operation or conduct of a raffle.
(6) A person who is a member of more than one nonprofit, tax-exempt organization shall be permitted to participate in the raffle operations of only two organizations of which such person is a member; provided, however, that such person shall not receive more than $30.00 per day for assisting in the conduct of raffles regardless of whether such person assists both organizations in the same day.
(l) The sheriff is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations which the sheriff deems necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this Code section which are not in conflict with any provision of this Code section.
(m) Any person who operates a raffle without a valid license issued by the sheriff as provided in this Code section commits the offense of commercial gambling as defined in Code Section 16-12-22 and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished accordingly. Any person who knowingly aids, abets, or otherwise assists in the operation of a raffle for which a license has not been obtained as provided in this Code section similarly commits the offense of commercial gambling.
Any person who violates any other provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
Any person who commits any such violation after having previously been convicted of any violations of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both.

& & &

It may be that too much gaming activity on behalf of a 501(c) may jeopardize its status. IRS Pub. 3079 takes a dim view of the “gaming” activities of 501 (c) stating that there is “nothing charitable,” about running a gaming operation.

[13]

OCGA § 16-12-22.1(d).

[14]

FCS Urban Ministries. Win This Georgia Home.
www.winthisgahome.com; $435,000 house in Alpharetta for a $5.00 ticket. www.liveinalpharetta.com ; Gainesville Couple raffles $432,000 house for SeedSowers Ministry. www.meetonthegreen.com/raffleingmyhouse. See nationally, www.unitedhouseraffles.com; Searchers should be careful with search routines, the Internet is replete with similar auctions in Germany, Austria, Italy, the UK, Australia, etc.

[15]

Md. Code Ann. § 13-1810. (a) A qualified organization may conduct a raffle in the county to benefit charity or to further the purpose of the qualified organization; (b) A raffle shall be conducted by a qualified organization and not by a person who: (1) retains a portion of the proceeds from the raffle; or (2) is compensated by the qualified organization for which the raffle is held. (c) A person may not receive a private profit from the proceeds of a raffle. (d) A qualified organization that conducts a raffle shall: (1) keep accurate records of all transactions that occur on behalf of the raffle; (2) keep the records for 2 years after the raffle; and (3) on request, make the records available for examination by: [A list of State Officers ] (e) A person operating a raffle shall be a resident of the county and a member of the qualified organization. (f) Prizes of money or merchandise may be awarded in a raffle conducted under this subtitle. (g) For a raffle of real property, the requirements of this section are in addition to the requirements of § 12-106(a) of this article. (h) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a qualified organization may not conduct more than 12 raffles each year. (2) There is no limit to the number of 50/50 raffles that a qualified organization may conduct if the prize for each 50/50 raffle does not exceed $300.

[16]

Hedding, D., How to Raffle Your House, True Gotham, November 11, 2008.

[17]

Texas Code Ann. § 2002.056. (b-1). "The value of a residential dwelling offered or awarded as a prize at a raffle that is purchased by the organization or for which the organization provides any consideration may not exceed $250,000."

Md. Code Ann.. § 13-1810.(g) "For a raffle of real property, the requirements of this section are in addition to the requirements of § 12-106(a) of this article."

[18]

IRS Publication 526; Charitable Contributions.

[19]

Strangely, no state statute (that this author has read), outlines the mechanics or procedure to be employed by the 501(c) organization for refunds; it is clear that the failure to refund, in some states, may be a misdemeanor.

[20]

Mass. Gen. Laws § 12.03; Wis. Rev. Stat. § 563.93(7).

[21]

The High Stakes Game Of Raffling Off A House, Washington Post, November 17, 2008, Page D01.

[22]

Douglas Hedding, D., The Sad Truth About House Raffles, The True Gotham, December 5, 2008.

[23]

www.irs.gov Forms 5754 and W2-G. See Also, IRS Pub. 3079.

[24]

Why would you want to win a raffle house if your cash load to purchase for the same $200,000 was substantially less than the raffle. If an individual wishes to purchase a $200,000.00 home on the open market that individual faces at closing a realtor's fee and a cash down payment. An individual wishing to buy a $200,000.00 home may expend somewhere between $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 in cash depending on whether a 5% or 10% down payment is now required under more stringent lending practices, closing costs and if the buyer shared in any real estate fee. The purchaser then obtains a mortgage for somewhere between $180,000.00 and $200,000.00. That purchaser's cash outlay is no more than $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 to purchase the same house.

[25]

Ebay Specifically prohibits Raffles and Auctions of "Chance." eBay does not permit listings that sell an opportunity to win an item or prize either by chance or in connection with a skill contest. Specifically, eBay does not permit listings that promote giveaways, lotteries, sweepstakes, random drawings, raffles, contests, or prizes. Such promotions are highly regulated and may be unlawful in many states. eBay itself may run such promotions on the site, and may grant authorization to its partners or third party companies to run promotions that comply with applicable laws.
Ebay Seller's Agreement.

[26]

PayPal Specifically prohibits Raffles and Auctions of "Chance," if they are not allowed under State Law.
PayPal Acceptable Use Policy
This Policy was last modified on November 10, 2008.
You are independently responsible for complying with all applicable laws in all of your actions related to your use of PayPal's services, regardless of the purpose of the use. In addition, you must adhere to the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy.
Prohibited Activities
You may not use the PayPal service for activities that:
1. violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation
2. relate to sales of (a) narcotics, steroids, certain controlled substances or other products that present a risk to consumer safety, (b) drug paraphernalia, (c) items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity, (d) items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime, (e) items that are considered obscene, (f) items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction, (g) certain sexually oriented materials or services, or (h) certain firearms, firearm parts or accessories, ammunition, weapons or knives
3. relate to transactions that (a) show the personal information of third parties in violation of applicable law, (b) support pyramid or ponzi schemes, matrix programs, other "get rich quick" schemes or certain multi-level marketing programs, (c) are associated with purchases of annuities or lottery contracts, lay-away systems, off-shore banking or transactions to finance or refinance debts funded by a credit card, (d) are for the sale of certain items before the seller has control or possession of the item, (e) are by payment processors to collect payments on behalf of merchants, (f), are associated with the sale of traveler's checks or money orders, (h) involve currency exchanges or check cashing businesses, or (i) provide certain credit repair or debt settlement services
4. violate applicable laws or industry regulations regarding the sale of (a) tobacco products, or (b) prescription drugs and devices
5. involve gambling, gaming and/or any other activity with an entry fee and a prize, including, but not limited to casino games, sports betting, horse or greyhound racing, lottery tickets, other ventures that facilitate gambling, games of skill (whether or not it is legally defined as a lottery) and sweepstakes unless the operator has obtained prior approval from PayPal and the operator and customers are located exclusively in jurisdictions where such activities are permitted by law.
Activities Requiring Approval
PayPal requires pre-approval to accept payments for certain services as set out in 5 above and detailed in the chart below.
Service Requiring Pre-Approval
Contact Information
Collecting donations as a charity or non-profit organization; dealing in jewels, precious metals and stones; acting as a money transmitter or selling stored value cards; selling stocks, bonds, securities, options, futures or an investment interest in any entity or property; or providing escrow services.

[27]

Tex. Code Ann. § 2002.054; Ark. Code Ann. § 23-114-401.

[28]

RCW 9.46.0312.

& & &

Alabama

[29]

Ala. Code § 13A-12-20
The following definitions apply to this article:
(1) ADVANCE GAMBLING ACTIVITY. A person "advances gambling activity" if he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity. Conduct of this nature includes but is not limited to conduct directed toward the creation or establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device or activity involved, toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment or apparatus therefor, toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein, toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof, toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases or toward any other phase of its operation. A person advances gambling activity if, having substantial proprietary control or other authoritative control over premises being used with his knowledge for purposes of gambling activity, he permits that activity to occur or continue or makes no effort to prevent its occurrence or continuation.
(2) BOOKMAKING. Advancing gambling activity by unlawfully accepting bets from members of the public as a business, rather than in a casual or personal fashion, upon the outcome of future contingent events.
(3) CONTEST OF CHANCE. Any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.
(4) GAMBLING. A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.
(5) GAMBLING DEVICE. Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is normally used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine. However, lottery tickets, policy slips and other items used in the playing phases of lottery and policy schemes are not gambling devices within this definition.
(6) LOTTERY or POLICY. An unlawful gambling scheme in which:
a. The players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other medium, one or more of which chances are to be designated by the winning ones; and
b. The winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other fortuitous method; and
c. The holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value.
(7) PARI-MUTUEL, MUTUEL or THE NUMBERS GAME. A form of lottery in which the winning chances or plays are not determined upon the basis of a drawing or other act on the part of persons conducting or connected with the scheme, but upon the basis of the outcome of a future contingent event or events otherwise unrelated to the particular scheme.
(8) PLAYER. A person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation of the particular gambling activity.
(9) PROFIT FROM GAMBLING ACTIVITY. A person "profits from gambling activity" if he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he shares or is to share in the proceeds of gambling activity.
(10) SLOT MACHINE. A gambling device that, as a result of the insertion of a coin or other object, operates, either completely automatically or with the aid of some physical act by the player, in such a manner that, depending upon elements of chance, it may eject something of value. A device so constructed or readily adaptable or convertible to such use is no less a slot machine because it is not in working order or because some mechanical act of manipulation or repair is required to accomplish its adaptation, conversion or workability. Nor is it any less a slot machine because apart from its use or adaptability as such it may also sell or deliver something of value on a basis other than chance.
(11) SOMETHING OF VALUE. Any money or property, any token, object or article exchangeable for money or property or any form of credit or promise directly or indirectly contemplating transfer of money or property or of any interest therein, or involving extension of a service entertainment or a privilege of playing at a game or scheme without charge.
(12) UNLAWFUL. Not specifically authorized by law.
(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, § 6101.)
ARTICLE IV, SECTION 65, Constitution of Alabama
Lotteries and gift enterprises prohibited. The legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purposes, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale in this state of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery; and all acts, or parts of acts heretofore passed by the legislature of this state, authorizing a lottery or lotteries, and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, are hereby avoided.

Tennessee

[30]

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 3-17- 101 to 116.
Here is the Raffle filing fee for Tennessee: Event Gross: Revenue Filing Fee $0.00 to $5,000.00: $150.00; $5,001.00 to $10,000.00; $300.00; $10,001.00 to $20,000.00; $450.00 over $20,001.00; $600.00.

[31]

Tenn. Code Ann. § 3-17-110. Name of organization on ticket, share, chance or similar record - Method of payment of prizes and awards - Limitations on prices and awards.
(a) The ticket, share, chance or other similar record shall bear on its face the name of the 501(c)(3) organization on whose behalf the event is being conducted.
(b) All cash prizes or awards exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) shall be paid by check from a designated account of the organization to a named individual. In the case of non-cash prizes or awards, payment shall be in the form of goods or services and, if applicable, by an appropriate legal instrument including, but not limited to, deeds, titles and gift certificates. Checks or other legal instruments payable to "cash" or "bearer" are expressly prohibited.
(c) (1) For single location annual events, the total value of all prizes awarded per annual event shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); provided, that such limitation shall not apply to prizes of real property.
(2) For multiple location annual events, the total value of all prizes awarded per annual event location shall not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000); provided, that such limitation shall not apply to prizes of real property.

South Carolina

[32]

S.C. Code Ann. § 16-19-10
Whoever shall publicly or privately erect, set up, or expose to be played or drawn at or shall cause or procure to be erected, set up, or exposed to be played, drawn, or thrown at any lottery under the denomination of sales of houses, lands, plate, jewels, goods, wares, merchandise, or other things whatsoever or for money or by any undertaking whatsoever, in the nature of a lottery, by way of chances, either by dice, lots, cards, balls, numbers, figures, or tickets or who shall make, write, print or publish, or cause to be made, written, or published any scheme or proposal for any of the purposes aforesaid is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined one thousand dollars and imprisoned for one year. One-third of the fine imposed shall be paid to the person, if any, who informed law enforcement officials or other appropriate authorities about the violation which led to the conviction. Each violation constitutes a separate offense. See Also, Johnson, et al., v. Collins Entertainment Company, 349 S.C. 613, 564 S.E.2d 653 (S.C. 2002); Darlington Theatres, Inc. v. Coker, Sheriff, et al., 190 S.C. 282, 2 S.E.2d 782 (S.C. 1939)

[33]

Letter from Henry McMaster, Atty. Gen. South Carolina, to Hon. Thad Viers, South Carolina Legislature, July 9, 2008. South Carolina’s law is at odds with its sister states. When South Carolina amended its Constitution to allow a State Lottery in 1975, it also allowed bingo, but not raffles. Johnson v. Collins, Supra. H. 3629 was introduced into the 2009 – 2010 SC General Assembly to authorize raffles. The plain language of the proposed amendment to S.C. Code Ann. § 16-19-35, does not seem to provide that the 501(c) can pay the homeowner for the house, but instead takes the full donation of the house and then raffles it off. If this is the correct interpretation of the bill, it will be great for donations to charity but be a bust to homeowners who want to raffle their home in this down market.

[34]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-291.1 (Private lotteries and raffles prohibited.) § 14-309.15. Raffles. Non-Profit Raffles are Regulated and Legal in North Carolina.

Florida

[35]

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 849.0935(7).

[36]

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 849.0935. Charitable, nonprofit organizations; drawings by chance; required disclosures; unlawful acts and practices; penalties.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Drawing by chance" or "drawing" means an enterprise in which, from the entries submitted by the public to the organization conducting the drawing, one or more entries are selected by chance to win a prize. The term "drawing" does not include those enterprises, commonly known as "matching," "instant winner," or "preselected sweepstakes," which involve the distribution of winning numbers, previously designated as such, to the public.
(b) "Organization" means an organization which is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19), and which has a current determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, and its bona fide members or officers.
(2) The provisions of s. 849.09 shall not be construed to prohibit an organization qualified under 26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19) from conducting drawings by chance pursuant to the authority granted by this section, provided the organization has complied with all applicable provisions of chapter 496.
(3) All brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks used in connection with a drawing by chance shall conspicuously disclose:
(a) The rules governing the conduct and operation of the drawing.
(b) The full name of the organization and its principal place of business.
(c) The source of the funds used to award cash prizes or to purchase prizes.
(d) The date, hour, and place where the winner will be chosen and the prizes will be awarded, unless the brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks are not offered to the public more than 3 days prior to the drawing.
(e) That no purchase or contribution is necessary.
(4) It is unlawful for any organization which, pursuant to the authority granted by this section, promotes, operates, or conducts a drawing by chance:
(a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct any drawing in which the winner is predetermined by means of matching, instant win, or preselected sweepstakes or otherwise or in which the selection of the winners is in any way rigged;
(b) To require an entry fee, donation, substantial consideration, payment, proof of purchase, or contribution as a condition of entering the drawing or of being selected to win a prize. However, this provision shall not prohibit an organization from suggesting a minimum donation or from including a statement of such suggested minimum donation on any printed material utilized in connection with the fundraising event or drawing;
(c) To condition the drawing on a minimum number of tickets having been disbursed to contributors or on a minimum amount of contributions having been received;
(d) To arbitrarily remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry or to discriminate in any manner between entrants who gave contributions to the organization and those who did not give such contributions;
(e) To fail to promptly notify, at the address set forth on the entry blank, any person, whose entry is selected to win, of the fact that he or she won;
(f) To fail to award all prizes offered;
(g) To print, publish, or circulate literature or advertising material used in connection with the drawing which is false, deceptive, or misleading;
(h) To cancel a drawing; or
(i) To condition the acquisition or giveaway of any prize upon the receipt of voluntary donations or contributions.
(5) The organization conducting the drawing may limit the number of tickets distributed to each drawing entrant.
(6) A violation of this section is a deceptive and unfair trade practice.
(7) Any organization which engages in any act or practice in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. However, any organization or other person who sells or offers for sale in this state a ticket or entry blank for a raffle or other drawing by chance, without complying with the requirements of paragraph (3)(d), is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by fine only as provided in s. 775.083.
(8) This section does not apply to the state lottery operated pursuant to chapter 24.

One newspaper citation indicates Florida prohibits raffles of real estate; so, I must admit, I am not certain about Florida.

(c) Hugh Wood, Atlanta, GA 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Wood & Meredith, LLP; 404-633-4100; hwood@woodandmeredith.com

END

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Anonymous said...

Thanks, I've always wondered how to Raffle my house for a profit. I've been looking for Maryland Apartments For Rent, before I sell my house, but sometimes I think I should just try and sell my house first.

Diane Giraudo McDermott said...

This site is loaded with some good information, but frought with doom and gloom regarding house raffles. Is a $50,000 tax burden really a problem when you receive a home valued at $200,000 in exchange? As a real estate investor, I know that any investor would love to pick up a property valued at $200,000 and only pay $50,000. I agree that many people may not be able to come up with the tax amount, but most house raffles allow the grand prize winner to choose a cash prize instead of the home. In 2009, I sold my house in a raffle and the winner quickly borrowed the tax amount from a private investor, and he now has the home rented for $1200 per month. The home was valued at $200,000, and the winner could have chosen $100,000 cash instead. Let's keep house raffles going; but, yes,know what you're buying when you buy the ticket, and choose house raffles that have a winning raffle formula.

Good luck to all! Diane Giraudo McDermott, Author of: I SOLD MY HOUSE IN A RAFFLE, A Proven Step-by-step Method to Get Your Asking Price, Save Money, Save Time, & Help a Charity Too! www.isoldmyhouseinaraffle.com