Minnesota Gambling Control Board
1711 West County Road B, Suite 300 South
Roseville, Minnesota  55113
651-
539-1900

The five forms of lawful gambling are
raffles, bingo, pull-tabs, tipboards, and paddlewheels.

Fundraising Permit to Conduct Raffles Only.

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An EXEMPT PERMIT is required when the total value of ALL raffle prizes (donated and purchased) for this CALENDAR YEAR is over $1,500 but less than $50,000. 

  1. Submit an Adobe Acrobat PDF LG220 Application for Exempt Permit for each raffle.

    There is a limit of 5 days of gambling activity for the calendar year. The total value of all prizes awarded for the calendar year may not exceed $50,000.

    NOTE: An exempt permit is NOT a license. An exempt permit only allows an organization to conduct up to 5 days of gambling activity for the year. A license is obtained by organizations that conduct gambling activities on an ongoing basis.

    Raffle information for organizations that obtain an exempt permit to conduct a raffle: Although there is a limit of 5 days of gambling activity for the calendar year, that does not mean you only have five days to sell raffle tickets.  An exempt organization may start to sell raffle tickets once they have received their permit. Raffle ticket sales must stop before the first winning ticket is drawn.

     

  2. Financial report required:  Within 30 days of the authorized gambling activity, complete and submit the LG220a Exempt Permit Financial Report. 

Conduct of Raffles.

Frequently asked questions regarding raffles.

How You May and May Not Spend Gambling Funds

 


EXCLUDED RAFFLES do not require a permit when the combined total value of ALL raffle prizes (donated and purchased) for this CALENDAR YEAR is less than $1,500.

  • However, the raffle may only be conducted by a nonprofit organization, not by individuals.

  • Check with your city or county to see if they have any local ordinance or permit requirements.

Conduct of Raffles.

Frequently asked questions regarding raffles.

How You May and May Not Spend Gambling Funds

 

Frequently Asked Fundraising and Raffle Questions.

We want to conduct a raffle to help a friend pay for medical bills. Are we allowed to conduct a raffle for that purpose?

  1. If we can't conduct a raffle because we are not a nonprofit organization, what options do we have to raise funds?

  2. What type of nonprofit organization could we contact to conduct a benefit raffle for our friend in need?

  3. A group of my friends are making pledges for a walk-a-thon fundraiser.  We want to raise money through a raffle to help pay for our walk-a-thon pledges.  Are we allowed to conduct a raffle for that purpose?

  4. We will award door prizes at our fundraising event. Do we need a permit?

  5. What information must be printed on a raffle ticket

  6. Do we have to list all prizes on the raffle ticket?

  7. May we award as a raffle prize a raffle ticket for another raffle?

  8. May we discount the raffle tickets?

  9. May we print our own raffle tickets?

  10. May we sell raffle tickets through our web site?

  11. May we accept credit cards for the purchase of raffle tickets?

  12. May we use theatre tickets for our raffle?

  13. We would like to change our raffle date. Do we have to submit a new permit application?

  14. What kind of alternative raffles may we conduct?

  15. May we conduct a NASCAR board raffle?

  16. May we conduct an early bird drawing?

  17. Are there any age restrictions for buying a raffle ticket?

  18. Are there any age restrictions for winning a raffle prize?

  19. Are there any age restrictions for persons who sell raffle tickets?

  20. Are there any special requirements for awarding a prize, such as a car, ATV, or shotgun, that requires the payment of taxes or fees or registration by a government agency?

  21. Are there any special IRS requirements for awarding valuable prizes, such as a car?

  22. Are we required to post house rules for our raffle?

  23. What information must house rules contain?

  24. Are there any restrictions on how we may spend our raffle proceeds?

  25. Do we have to keep any raffle records?

  26. Our organization has an exempt permit to conduct a raffle.  Does the 5 day limit for gambling activity include the days we can sell raffle tickets?


  1. We want to conduct a raffle to help a friend pay for medical bills.  Are we allowed to conduct a raffle for that purpose?

    No, because by state law only nonprofit organizations may conduct raffles. Raffles may not be conducted by individuals. 

     

  2. If we can't conduct a raffle because we are not a nonprofit organization, what options do we have to raise funds?
    Suggested alternatives are to conduct other fund-raising activities that do not require a permit .  Examples include:

    • silent auction,

    • spaghetti or pork chop dinner,

    • pancake breakfast,

    • car wash,

    • community garage sale, and so on.
      Check with your local unit of government (city or county) regarding any local requirements for those activities.

      Or, you might want to contact a local nonprofit organization and ask them to conduct a raffle and donate the proceeds to the person in need.
       

  3. What type of nonprofit organization could we contact to conduct a benefit raffle for our friend in need?

    You could contact nonprofit organizations that include:

    • Elks, Eagles and Auxiliary, Moose, and Knights of Columbus;

    • Churches;

    • American Legion or VFW and their auxiliaries; and

    • Other nonprofit organizations such as Lions Clubs; Jaycees; associations for fire relief, hockey, baseball, athletic, snowmobile, rod and gun, and sportsmen; and community and business/chamber groups.

     

  4. A group of my friends are making pledges for a walk-a-thon fundraiser.  We want to raise money through a raffle or bingo to help pay for our walk-a-thon pledges.  Are we allowed to conduct a raffle or bingo for that purpose?

    No.   For walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, Relay for Life® and other similar fundraising activities conducted by nonprofit organizations, pledges may not be paid for or made from raffle, bingo, or other charitable gambling proceeds. The reason why...according to Minnesota law, charitable gambling, which includes raffles, bingo, pull-tabs, tipboards, and paddlewheels, may only be conducted by nonprofit organizations.

     

  5. We will award door prizes at our fundraising event.  Do we need a permit?

    It depends.  For example, if a person is required to purchase a ticket for a spaghetti dinner or give a food donation for a food shelf to be eligible in a drawing for a door prize, then the drawing activity is considered a raffle and a raffle permit would be required.  
    REMINDER: Only nonprofit organizations may conduct a raffle.

    We would recommend instead that you offer the chance to win door prizes to anyone without requiring a purchase or contribution. Then the drawing would not be considered a raffle and no raffle permit would be required.

Frequently asked questions from organizations authorized to conduct raffles.

 

  1. What information must be on a raffle ticket?

    Click here to view a sample Adobe Acrobat PDF raffle ticket.
     

  2. Do we have to list all prizes on the raffle ticket?

    No.  However, at a minimum the three most expensive prizes must be listed on the raffle ticket.  If additional prizes will be awarded, the raffle ticket must state "A complete list of additional prizes is available upon request.
     

  3. May we award as a raffle prize a raffle ticket for another raffle?
    No.  Board rules prohibit awarding raffle tickets as prizes.
     

  4. May we discount the raffle tickets?

    The same set of raffle tickets may not contain a discounted price, such as "Tickets $1 each or 6 for $5." 

    However, raffle tickets may be discounted only if there are separate sets of raffle tickets that are clearly identifiable from the other set.  For example:

    • One group of raffle tickets is printed on yellow paper with a ticket price of $1.

    • Another set of raffle tickets is printed on blue paper with a ticket price of 6 for $5.

     

  5. May we print our own raffle tickets?

    Yes, you may print your own raffle tickets but you must have an invoice that states the number of tickets printed, the sequential numbers used, and selling price printed on the tickets.

     

  6. May we sell raffle tickets through our organization's web site?

    No.  You may not sell tickets through the web site but you are allowed to advertise the raffle on the web site.
     

  7. May we accept credit cards for the purchase of raffle tickets?

    Credit cards may not be accepted.  Only cash, personal checks, cashier checks, money orders,  travelers checks, and debit cards may be accepted.

     

  8. May we use theatre tickets for our raffle?

    Yes, an organization may use theatre tickets that contain sequential numbers IF
    - a list of prizes and a statement of other relevant information is made available to persons purchasing tickets, and

    - the tickets are sold only at the event and on the date when winning tickets are drawn.
    (NOTE:  Licensed organizations may not use theatre tickets for raffles.)
     

  9. We  would like to change our raffle date.  Do we have to submit a new permit application?

    No.  Just send a letter stating the reasons why the date needs to be changed and attach a copy of the local unit of government approval (city or county) for the raffle date change. Send it to the Gambling Control Board, 1711 West County Road B - Suite 300 South, Roseville, Minnesota 55113.
     

  10. What kind of alternative raffles may we conduct?

    For information on alternative raffles that have been approved or denied by the Gambling Control Board, click here.
     

  11. May we conduct a NASCAR board raffle?
    No.
     

  12. May we conduct an early bird drawing?
    No. Tickets may not be sold after the first drawing.
     

  13. Are there any age restrictions for buying a raffle ticket?
    Yes. A person under 18 may not purchase a raffle ticket.
     

  14. Are there any age restrictions for winning a raffle prize?
    Yes. A person under 18 may not win a raffle prize.
     

  15. Are there any age restrictions for persons who sell raffle tickets?
    No.  A person under 18 may sell raffle tickets for a nonprofit organization authorized to conduct a raffle.
     

  16. Are there any special requirements for awarding a prize, such as a car, ATV, or shotgun, that requires the payment of taxes or fees or registration by a government agency?
    Yes.  For prizes that require registration with a government agency, a merchandise certificate must be used to award the prize.  Include a statement on the raffle ticket and merchandise certificate that the winner is responsible for any taxes and fees.
     

  17. Are there special IRS requirements for awarding valuable prizes such as a car?
    Yes. If the value of a raffle prize, less the amount of the wager (ticket price), exceeds $5,000, the organization must withhold and pay the federal income tax, at the rate of 25%, on the prize.   If you have questions, contact the IRS at 651-312-7716 (Metro area) or 1-800-829-1040.
     

  18. Are we required to post house rules for our raffle?
    Yes, house rules must be posted where the winning tickets will be selected.  See next question for information required to be posted.
     

  19. What information must raffle house rules contain?
    House rules for raffles must contain:
    (a) organization's name;
    (b) method and policy of selecting or determining winners;
    (c) statement that the winner need not be present;
    (d) policy of accepting checks;
    (e) statement that the purchase of only one ticket or certificate of participation is required to enter the raffle;
    (f) explanation of multiple pricing levels, if any;
    (g) persons under age 18 may not purchase a raffle ticket or certificate of participation;
    (h) persons under age 18 may not win a raffle prize; and
    (i)  persons must be age 21 and older to win any wine, beer, or intoxicating liquor prizes
    .
     

  20. Are there any restrictions on how we may spend our raffle proceeds?
    Yes.  For spending restrictions, Adobe Acrobat PDF click here.
     

  21. Do we have to keep any raffle records?
    Yes.  The raffle records must include sellers information (tickets sold and returned, cash received), copy of a complete raffle ticket, and all winning and unsold tickets or certificates of participation.  The records must be kept for 3-1/2 years.

     

  22. Our organization has an exempt permit to conduct a raffle.  Does the 5 day limit for gambling activity include the days we can sell raffle tickets?
    No. Gambling activity refers to the actual time gambling takes place.  In the case of an exempt raffle, the gambling activity is when the actual winning tickets are drawn.  An exempt organization may sell tickets in advance of the raffle date as long as the tickets are in compliance with statute and rule.

 

QUESTIONS?  If you have questions regarding an application, call or email the Licensing Specialist assigned to your county.

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