Online Raffle Site
November 4, 2005 2:48 PM   Subscribe

I was thinking of making my own raffle website. Where a limited number of tickets is sold for a certain product or money amount and a raffle is drawn. Is there any legality to this practice? Is there anything I can look up in order to research such a thing in Canada and America? I've heard of previous sites being illegal, how can I make it legal?
posted by Napierzaza to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We looked into this to a very large degree in BC. What it basically boiled down to was a requirement for a license (and therefore a lot of paperwork and time spent) for each individual raffle. The cost-profit ratio made it impossible to get off the ground with actually being part of the lottery corporation itself.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:54 PM on November 4, 2005

Lotteries are typically illegal unless conducted by governments or religious or charitable organizations. I doubt there is any jurisdiction in Canada or the U.S. where this isn't true.

You could make it legal by:

a) becoming a government or religious or charitable organization
b) changing the law
posted by jellicle at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2005

So, on to plan B: make a waffle website. Mmm... waffles.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:15 PM on November 4, 2005

The rules on games of chance vary from state to state. You will need to research the rules in your home state. The one time I was involved with a group that considered holding a raffle (in Texas), we would that the legal requirements outweighed the potential benefit. In some states (Michigan), the rules are change depending on whether or not your raffle is a one-time promotion or a regular way of doing business.
posted by ilsa at 9:23 PM on November 4, 2005

According to this all I have to do is have

1)A skill testing question
2)No purchase entry

Am I right? I don't like the no purchase entry idea.
posted by Napierzaza at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2005

IANAL but I believe that Napierzaza is correct with the further note that you need one of those characteristics, not both.

So, for example, lots of businesses have "no purchase necessary" contests (those these do seem to be invalid in some states in the US).

Also, it is not uncommon to hear about someone "giving away" their house to the person who can write the best essay about why they want to run a bed and breakfast in it, or something, with an "entry fee" of $250.

In any case, I'd talk to a lawyer before you invested significant time into this.
posted by alms at 6:46 AM on November 5, 2005

« Older How is this magic trick done?   |   Walking tour of Chicago's north side Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.