Regulatory Guidance
August 19, 2021

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in Arizona

Disclaimer: This article offers general information and is not intended as legal or professional advice. You should consult with legal counsel regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current as of August 04, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.

Charitable gaming can be a great way to raise funds and awareness for an organization. As a fundraiser, events such as bingo, raffles, or sweepstakes represent a great balance of low cost and far reach. Few things can drive community engagement as effectively as prizes, making online charitable gaming an attractive option for nonprofits. Charities, nonprofits, and civic leagues are all entitled to operate charitable gaming events in Arizona. 

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Arizona

How does the state of Arizona define charitable gaming?

The state of Arizona categories charitable gaming into four types: 

1. Raffle:
While no state agency regulates charitable raffles, certain guidelines must be followed to ensure that a raffle is legal. Take a quick quiz on the Arizona Department of Gaming website to know if your organization qualifies.

2. Bingo:
Charitable bingo is operated under a license obtained by the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR). If you would like more information about charitable bingo, please visit the ADOR’s webpage for Bingo.

3. Pull-tabs:
While Pull-Tabs are a charitable gambling exception, they are not regulated by the Department of Gaming.

4. Horse racing charity days:
Horse Racing Charity Days are regulated by the ADG’s Racing Division.

Who can conduct online charitable gaming events in Arizona?

The regulations regarding who can and cannot conduct charitable gaming vary based on the game being run.

Raffles

No state body in Arizona regulates charitable raffles and there is no formal license required to conduct a raffle. However, there are still several criteria that an organization must meet for a raffle to be deemed “legal”. Typically, income tax-exempt nonprofits that have been in existence in the state for five years may be eligible to run raffles without a license.

Who can organize a charitable raffle in Arizona?

Civic Leagues
Any group whose members are from a particular municipality may run charitable raffles as long as all proceeds are going exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.

Religious Organizations
Groups of a religious nature may conduct charitable raffles provided that they have a community treasury.

Private Clubs
A private club may conduct a charitable raffle so long as the club is run exclusively for pleasure and no part of the net earnings benefits any private shareholder

Other organizations
There is a range of organizations that may apply for the right to run a charitable raffle. For detailed information and regulations, please consult the Arizona Department of Gaming website.

Bingo

Bingo is legal in the state of Arizona for recreational purposes and for certain types of nonprofit entities such as churches, civic leagues, and educational centers. However, running a bingo game does require a proper license. These are split into Classes A, B, and C. Class A licenses are for recreational games, and Classes B and C are for certain types of nonprofit organizations. They are issued according to the value of gross receipts per annum.

Pull-Tabs

Pull-tabs—also known as Break-Opens, Cherry Bells, or Instant Bingo—are a form of instant-win ticket. Similar to scratch-off lottery tickets, but using perforated squares which must be punched out. These are generally an exception to state regulations regarding charitable gaming. They are not regulated by the Arizona Department of Gaming.

Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable gaming in Arizona

Depending on the nature of an organization and the type of game they wish to conduct, there are a variety of licenses that may be required.

Types of charitable gaming licenses

Bingo Licenses

  • Class A: These are for recreational and social purposes with all gross receipts being returned to players as prizes. The value of receipts cannot exceed $15,600 per year.
  • Class B and C: These are issued for fundraising for charitable organizations. Class B licenses are for gross receipts of less than $300,000 and Class C is for receipts over $300,000.

How to apply for a charitable bingo license in Arizona?

Licenses for running charitable bingo are issued by the Arizona Department of Revenue. Applications and further details can be obtained on the Arizona Department of Gaming website. Applicants are required to fill out the forms which include the actual application, an affidavit of compliance with all regulations, and a statement of endorsement from a local governing body.

How much does a charitable bingo license cost in Arizona?

A Class A license costs a total of $15 between the fees paid to the Arizona Department of Revenue and to the local governing entity. A Class B license costs $75 and a Class C license costs $250.

What is the validity of a charitable bingo license in Arizona?

All bingo licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed before expiration.

How long does it take to obtain a charitable bingo license in Arizona?

The length of time required to obtain a new charitable gaming license in Arizona is 60 calendar days. For license renewal, the time is 30 calendar days.

Related: Regulatory Guidance for U.S. States and Canadian Provinces and Territories

Charitable gaming resources for Arizona

Office of the Governor
State of Arizona
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

General Counsel
Office of the Governor, State of Arizona
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Arizona Department of Gaming
Attention: Director
1110 West Washington Street, Suite 450, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Arizona Department of Revenue
(602) 255-3381
1600 West Monroe Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Additional resources:
The Arizona Department of Gaming
The Arizona Department of Revenue
The Arizona State Legislature
: The full text of all laws, rules, and regulations in the State of Arizona.

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