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Raffle Permit

Although Massachusetts General Laws prohibit most forms of gambling in the Commonwealth, an exception under M.G.L. c. 271, s. 7A and its implementing regulations, 940 CMR 12, allow for some nonprofit organizations to be permitted to hold certain gaming activities through raffles and bazaars in order to fundraise.   Please review the Attorney Generals website for additional information.

A nonprofit organization which can show it has been organized and actively functioning as a nonprofit organization in the commonwealth for a period of not less than two years may apply for a raffle permit. 

The Raffle Permit Fee in the Town of Easton is $15, or $10 for a renewal.

Forms & Documents:
Raffle Permit Application
Annual Raffle Report (required for permit renewals)
Notice of Issuance of Raffle License

Attorney Generals Website
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 271, section 7A
940 CMR 12
Advisory on Poker Tournaments
Checklist for Non Profits holding poker tournaments

Qualifications of Organizations
1.  Type of Organization:
• Veteran’s organization
• Church or religious organization
• Fraternal organization
• Educational or charitable organization (including Public School Departments, parent – teacher organizations)
• Civic or service organizations
• Clubs organized and operated exclusively for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofit purposes

2.  Active NONPROFIT organization in the Commonwealth for two (2) years or more

Obtaining a Permit:
Before conducting a raffle, M.G.L. c. 271, s. 7A requires the organization to obtain a raffle/bazaar permit from the City or Town clerk where the raffle is going to be held. 

The permit Application & Notice of Issuance forms must include:
• The name and address of organization
• The evidence it relies on to qualify for a permit
• The names of three officers or members who are responsible for the raffle
• The purpose/ use to which the net proceeds will be applied

The process to obtain a permit is as follows:
• Submit the following to the Town Clerk for review:
     • Application
     • Documentation of Eligibility
     • Fee ($15 or $10 for renewals)
     • Annual Report from prior year (required for renewal permits only)
     • Notice of Issuance of Raffle License for Mass State Lottery
• Complete Applications are then presented to Chief of Police for approval & signature
• Permits must be issued or denied within 30 days of application
• If endorsed by the Police Chief, the Town Clerk will then issue the Permit as well as send a copy to the Commission of Public Safety & the Lottery Commission.
• The Lottery Commission will send a financial form to the organization which needs to be filed with them within 10 days after the completion of the raffle.
• Approved permits are valid for one year (organization may conduct multiple raffles, or up to 3 bazaars within the duration of the permit).

Post Raffle Filings:
Organization must file an Annual Report within 30 days of expiration of permit detailing number of events, amount raised, expenses, names of winners of prizes valued at more than $25, uses of the net proceeds; signed by the people on the application and an accountant.

Renewal of a permit is conditional upon receipt of the annual report to the Town Clerk.

Organization must keep records sufficient to substantiate information required by annual report.

State Lottery commission will issue appropriate tax forms (5% excise tax on wagering on gross proceeds payable within 10 days of each event).  The tax on gross proceeds is payable even for non-profits because it is a tax on wagering, not income.