Is there any way to legally conduct a for-profit raffle online?

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Is there any way to legally conduct a for-profit raffle online?

I am always looking to start new things. I understand that raffles are considered lotteries, but is there any way to get around that? Maybe with a license. The prize would not be money. Simplified Idea Individual pays 1 per ticket. One person wins each raffle. The prize would not be cash.

Asked on July 21, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Each state has its own laws as to whether or not a raffle, online or otherwise, is legal. To establish if a raffle is legal or not, the first step is to determne if the entity holding the raffle is recognized tax exempt charitable organization under IRS guidelines. If so then the next hurdle is to check if the charitable organization is allowed to do business in the state in question; the entity (usually a corportation) must register with the Secretary of State in order to do business. The final thing that must be established is if the state allows raffles and if so, does it allow online rafflles. Not all states preclude online raffles; it is determined on a state-by-state basis. At this point you can consult directly with a local attorney or contact the Secretary of State's office or the Attorney General's Office for further information.


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