Raffles are conducted for many charitable causes. Because the proceeds go to charitable organizations, raffles are regulated by the Division of Charitable Gaming, a part of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The proceeds from a raffle are exempt from taxes on gross receipts, admission and entertainment. No city within Virginia may impose these taxes on qualified organizations.
Permit and Fee Exemption
An organization that reasonably expects to gross $40,000 or less in one year is not required to notify the Division of Charitable Gaming or comply with the charitable gaming regulations. If the organization receives more than $40,000, they must notify the Division. A volunteer fire department or rescue squad is not required to pay permit fees.
To apply for a charitable gaming permit, the organization must have been meeting regularly within Virginia for the three years immediately preceding their application. Lodges or chapters of national or international groups and booster clubs created to raise money for school systems are exempt from this rule.
A permit is good only for the dates listed on the permit or until revoked or suspended. Permits may not be issued for a time period longer than two years. Permits may be renewed with the Division of Charitable Gaming.
Raffle tickets may be sold both inside and outside of the jurisdiction on the permit. The drawing must be held within the state of Virginia. If the drawing is to be held outside of Virginia, the organization must comply with the Board of Charitable Gaming of Virginia and any local laws regarding raffles. The drawing receptacle must be designed so that each ticket has an equal chance of being drawn.
An organization that has applied for and received a permit to conduct a raffle must keep a record of all supplies purchased and all disbursements made. A report must be filed with the Division on a yearly basis. These records must be kept for three years and must include the name and address of any winner who won a prize worth more than $599.