In the United States, each state has it’s own set of definitions and laws that dictate what is considered a raffle, which organizations are permitted to host a raffle, and what is required to legally host a raffle.
Yes, the first raffle you host can be time consuming and confusing, but all the time and energy invested is ultimately worth it. (Some of the biggest campaigns on Zeffy are raffles. AKA raffles raise a lot of money for the nonprofits that host them.) Plus, raffles are a great way to mix up your fundraising campaign portfolio and, as an added bonus, attract new donors to your nonprofit.
We’re here to help by walking you through the process of setting up a raffle on Zeffy and we’ve even got a few tips on how to create successful charity raffles and lotteries.
Okay, let’s get started.
The state of New York’s Charitable Gaming Division defines a nonprofit raffle as:
… games in which a participant pays money in return for a ticket or other receipt and a prize is awarded on the basis of a randomly selected winning number(s), color(s), or symbol(s) designated on the ticket or receipt.
To host a raffle in the state of New York, you need to be an authorized charitable organization (nonprofit) that has been serving its community for at least three years before applying for a license.
If you’re wondering if your nonprofit qualifies as “authorized”, here are a few examples:
Good to know:
To apply for a Games of Chance Identification Number you need to fill out and submit (at the same time) forms GC-2, GC-2A and GC-2B and include the $25 annual license fee.
If your organization is authorized, you will receive a Games of Chance License on form GC-5 from the clerk. (You do not need to fill this form out.)
Once you have received your GC-5 form from the clerk with your Games of Chance ID Number on it, you can apply to sell your raffle tickets online.
You need to submit an Internet/Mobile Raffle Ticket Sales application at least 60 days before you start selling any raffle tickets. And, for some reason, you need to fill out and submit one form for for every raffle you host.
You have to complete and submit the Internet/Mobile Raffle Ticket Sales application regardless of which category your organization falls into. (See the next section.)
When applying for your Games of Chance Identification Number, you need to select either category 1 or 2 on your application form.
If you think all your raffle(s) for the entire calendar year will net at least $30,000 or between $5,000 and $29,999 for any one raffle, select Category 1.
You do not need to apply for a license or submit a financial report for individual raffles with anticipated net proceeds under $5,000 or under $30,000 for all raffles within a calendar year.
Yes you can! (Yes, we are absolutely excited about this!)
You will need to complete and submit the Internet/Mobile Raffle Ticket Sales application. The form is pretty straightforward. However, sections 10 through 17 might be a bit tricky. Reach out to us if you have any questions and we'll do our best to help you through them.
Each part of a two part “admission-style” ticket used in for a 50/50 raffle needs to show an identical, consecutively printed ticket number to verify the winning ticket.
Raffle tickets in the state of New York need to clearly display the following information:
We’ve whipped up an a example to give you a better idea:
There is an annual license fee of $25 associated with the forms GC-2, GC-2A and GC-2B.
Plus, if you fall into Category 1, an additional license fee of 2% of the reported net raffle proceeds over $30,000 may need to be paid to the municipal clerk (or county fiscal officer).
There is no additional license fee paid on the first $30,000 derived in net raffle proceeds. So, if your raffle earned $35,000, your nonprofit would need to pay an additional license fee of $100. (2% of $5,000.)
Your work doesn’t end when the last ticket stub is drawn. In New York, if your nonprofit falls into Raffle Category 1 you need to file a financial statement of raffle operations on Form GC-7R with the municipal clerk and the Commission by January 30th of the following year.
Guidelines for conducting raffles in New York.
Library of all forms and applications for Games of Chance in the state of New York.
GC-2 Application for Games of Chance License (GC-2, 2A and 2B must always be filed together.)
GC-2A Application for Games of Chance License (GC-2, 2A and 2B must always be filed together.)
GC-2B Application for Games of Chance License (GC-2, 2A and 2B must always be filed together.)
Internet/mobile raffle ticket sales application
GC-RCF: Raffle Consent Form (If you want to host a raffle outside of your municipality.)
GC-7 Financial Statement of Games of Chance Operations
1. New York Gaming Commission: Charitable Gaming
2. New York Gaming Commission: Guidelines for Conducting Raffles
3. New York Gaming Commission: Rules and Regulations - Division of Charitable Gaming