Raffles are common gambling events held by charitable organizations to raise funds for their cause. However, the New York State Gaming Commission wants to ensure that they remain compliant with the state laws.
A primer on do’s and don’ts
The Division of Charitable Gaming of the Gaming Commission will host two seminars in the coming weeks to help charitable organizations remain compliant with state laws. The first of the two seminars will be held on Nov. 20 and the second will be held on December 18. Both will last from 10 am to noon. They will touch upon various subjects like rules and regulations related to hosting raffles and other laws with which the organizations must comply with. Both seminars will be held at the Commission’s Schenectady office and will be free to attend.
According to Stacy Harvey, Director of the Division of Charitable Gambling, “It’s our job to make sure raffles are conducted legally, and the proceeds raised go to the intended charity.”
Harvey also pointed out some crucial points that charitable organizations should take note of. It includes selling raffle tickets and drawings only in a municipality that has a local working law for games of chance. It also restricts the sale of these tickets via mail or online. Prizewinners of the raffle do not have to be present to win. Other stricter rules include ensuring that it should allow only members of the organization to conduct the raffles and no person under 18 years should be involved. It also prohibits them from awarding alcohol or gift cards to liquor stores as raffle prizes.
Commission remains committed to helping charitable organizations
To help organizations hold fair and legal raffles, the Commission has also uploaded a reference guide on its website. It is targeted at authorized entities, chief law enforcement officers and municipal clerks. People interested in attending the seminar can enquire at 518-388-0210.
Note that all 62 counties in New York allow charitable gaming which may include events like raffles, Las Vegas nights, bell jar ticket sales and bingo. The Charitable Gambling Division of the state Gaming Commission oversees and audits the sale of millions of bell jar tickets. It also checks if such gambling events have lawfully disbursed their proceeds. It is also responsible for issuing licenses to a game of chance and bingo suppliers and manufacturers. It collects licensing fees and also determines the rental fees for commercial bingo halls.