Raffle Laws in Florida

By Don Rafner
Florida state laws, the way, nonprofit organizations, raffles

raffle tickets image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Florida law regulates the way charitable, nonprofit organizations conduct raffles or other games of chance. The state's statutes regulate the way organizations can advertise these raffles, select winners and organize their drawings. Those organizations that do not follow the rules can be found guilty of a misdemeanor in the second degree.

Marketing Materials

Florida state statutes regulate the way charitable, nonprofit organizations can promote and market their raffles. Any brochures, notices, tickets and entry blanks promoting the raffle must clearly state the full name of the organization holding the drawing and its primary place of business.

These materials must also disclose the source of the funds the organization used to purchase any prizes; the date, hour and place at which the organization will choose a winner and distribute prizes; and a statement spelling out that winners do not have to purchase an entry or make a contribution to the charitable organization to win a prize.

No Favoritism

Raffle organizers are not allowed to show favoritism in any way to participants who donated money to the charitable organization. They also are not allowed to discriminate against those participants who did not contribute any money to the group.

Organizers are also forbidden to rig a raffle's outcome to benefit participants who have donated money to the charitable group.

In other words, all participants who enter the raffle must have an equal chance to win.

No Required Entry Fee Or Donation

Under Florida law, charitable, nonprofit organizations are not allowed to require an entry fee or donation for those who want to partake in a raffle. However, this does not mean that these organizations cannot suggest a minimum donation for participants who want to take part in the drawing and receive raffle tickets.

These organizations are allowed to take donations in exchange for raffle tickets. But, such donations cannot be mandatory.

About the Author

Don Rafner has been writing professionally since 1992, with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News." He specializes in writing about mortgage lending, personal finance, business and real-estate topics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois.

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