An opportunity drawing is a prize where everyone who comes to the event has an equal chance of winning and no one pays for a ticket.
A raffle is defined as a lottery in which each participant buys a chance to win a prize. PTAs are not exempt from having to apply for a permit if they intend to have raffles, so please make sure that you have the permit BEFORE you have these kinds of activities.
Forms and information on how to conduct a legal raffle can be obtained by going to the California Attorney General’s website. (See www.ag.ca.gov/charities/raffles.php, Section 320.5 – Gambling: Charitable Raffles.)
Raffles may include but are not limited to: Raffles, donation drawings, ducky derby and cow chip bingo. 50/50 raffles are illegal in California.
A completed registration form and registration fee must be submitted by September 1 of each reporting year (September 1 through August 31) during which a raffle is expected to be conducted. The $20.00 fee covers all raffles for the year. A Nonprofit Raffle Report must be completed that summarizes each raffle conducted during a reporting year (September 1 through August 31). Reports are due on or before September 1 (California Penal Code section 320.5).
Remember: If you have obtained a raffle permit you MUST file a Nonprofit Raffle Report, even if you did not hold any raffles during the year. It should be one of the final things that your board does prior to transition to the new board at the end of the fiscal year.
Please note: Only nonprofits in good standing with the Attorney General’s office may hold raffles, so be sure your PTA has filed any missing raffle reports from prior years, as well as all Charitable Trust filings required before you apply for a permit.
This blog post was written by Melinda Kirkland, 2019-21 California State PTA Treasurer
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