Frequently Asked Questions

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Can a charity pay someone to conduct charitable gaming?

 No. No one can be paid to conduct charitable gaming or bingo. Please consult Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915 and the Ohio Attorney General’s Policy 201for more information. 

Can a person who is under 18 years of age sell and purchase raffle tickets?

 According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2915.11(A), a person who is under 18 may sell raffle tickets as long as that person is not selling raffle tickets at the site of the raffle. No statute explicitly prohibits a person under 18 years of age from purchasing tickets for a raffle. Also, no statute prohibits the sale of raffle tickets to a person under 18 years of age, as long as the raffle itself is permissible under Ohio law. For a more detailed explanation specific to public schools, please see Ohio Attorney General Opinion No. 2004-042 

Can I keep 100 percent of the net profit of a raffle?

 If a 501(c)(3) organization conducts the raffle, 100 percent of the net profit from the raffle can go to the organization. If a 501(c)(4), (c)(7), (c)(8), (c)(10), or (c)(19) conducts the raffle, the organization must distribute at least 50 percent of the net profit to a charitable purpose described in Ohio Revised Code Section 2915.01(v) or to a department or agency of the federal government, the state, or any political subdivision.  

Can I raffle a specific item, such as a gun, a car, alcohol, or a house?

 Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915 is silent as to what types of items may be raffled. However, other laws involving the specific item you want to raffle may apply, so you may need to seek information from other organizations. For example, if you want to raffle a gun, you may want to contact the Ohio Field Offices of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. If you want to raffle a car, you may want to contact your local title office. If you want to raffle alcohol, you may want to contact the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control. If you are considering raffling a house, there are many issues to consider, such as ensuring the organization has a clear title to the home. Because each situation is different, contact private legal counsel regarding your specific circumstance.  

Do I need to keep records if my charity conducts a raffle?

 Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2915.10, all organizations conducting raffles have recordkeeping requirements related to expenses and prizes. These records must be kept at least three years. 

My charity wants to hold a fundraiser. What types of charitable gaming can we conduct?

 Please consult Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915 and private legal counsel to determine if your proposed activity is allowed by law. This chapter also outlines specific limitations on locations and frequency for certain activities. You also can review the Ohio Attorney General’s Policy 201for information on games of chance 

   

Who can conduct a raffle?


Only some organizations may conduct raffles in Ohio: a charitable organization, a public school, a chartered nonpublic school, a community school, or a veteran's organization, fraternal organization, or sporting organization that is also a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(7), 501(c)(8), 501(c)(10), or 501(c)(19) tax-exempt organization.


My organization is a veteran or fraternal group. Do special fundraising rules apply to us?


 Possibly. In some circumstances, Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 2915 establishes different rules for 501(c)(3) organizations and other types of 501(c) organizations, including 501(c)(4), (c)(7), (c)(8), (c)(10), and (c)(19) organizations. For example, for bingo and raffles, veteran or fraternal organizations must devote a certain percentage of the proceeds to a 501(C)(3) organization. Please consult ORC Chapter 2915 and private legal counsel to determine what rules apply to your specific organization and fundraising event.  


When is an Ohio temporary liquor permit needed?


A permit is required if a qualified organization intends to provide beer, or intoxicating liquor (wine, mixed beverages of spirituous liquor) either for sale by the drink or through the use of an entrance fee, cover charge, etc.  


 No permit is required if an individual or organization intends to provide beer, or intoxicating liquor at a private function where access is restricted to invited guests only, such as a wedding reception, for which no admission fee is charged or any alcoholic beverages sold.  Also, if your event is taking place at an establishment that is an existing permit holder.


What are some important things to know about Ohio temporary liquor permits?


• All temporary permit holders must cease sales by 1:00 a.m.  

• All temporary permit sales are for on-premises consumption unless carryout sales are expressly permitted by law.  

• The liquor permit must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.  

• Alcoholic beverages may not be served at an event until the proper permit has been issued by the Division of Liquor Control.  

• It is a violation of Ohio liquor law for alcoholic beverage products to be donated to a temporary permit holder unless the donation of the product is expressly permitted by law.   (see the chart in our Resources Page for additional information)

• Temporary liquor permit holders cannot sell or serve an unlimited number of drinks for a onetime admission charge. (See O.A.C. 4301: 1-1-50.)  


Where do I have to purchase alcohol to be sold under my Ohio temporary liquor permit


• Beer, wine and mixed beverages must be purchased from a brewery, winery, or wholesale distributor. 

• A temporary permit holder is prohibited from purchasing beer or intoxicating liquor at retail for resale. 

• Spirituous liquor must be purchased from a Contract Liquor Agency.  


Do I need an Ohio Temporary Liquor Permit at my event if I will be auctioning off alcohol.


Yes.  You must be a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and obtain an F-2 or F-6 (wine only) permit for the event.  The F-2 permit only allows the auctioning of beer, wine and mixed beverages, and not spirituous liquor, once per year.  Spirituous  liquor is defined as all intoxicating liquors containing more than 21% alcohol by volume.   An F-6 permit allows the auctioning of wine up to 6 times per year in the original sealed container.  

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