Regulatory Guidance
October 15, 2021

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in Kentucky

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 September 20, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.

Charitable gaming is one of the most popular ways for groups to raise both money and awareness. Representing a great balance of low cost, easy implementation, and wide appeal charitable gaming events can be a great idea for any organization. As a fundraiser, events such as raffles and sweepstakes can be great means of creating community engagement. 

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Kentucky

How does the state of Kentucky define charitable gaming?

The state of Kentucky outlines exemptions for charitable gaming in the Kentucky Revised Statutes. The state allows for the conducting of raffles, sweepstakes, and bingo by qualified charitable organizations.

Who can conduct online charitable gaming events in Kentucky?

Kentucky allows for nonprofit entities organized for charitable, religious, educational, literary, civic, fraternal, or patriotic purposes to run charitable gaming events. These organizations must possess a 501(c) 3, 4, 8, 10, or 19 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) OR be registered as a common school or university in the state of Kentucky. Additionally, an organization must have been in operation in the state for a minimum of three years and it must have “made reasonable progress” towards its charitable goal within the last three years.

Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable gaming in Kentucky

Charitable organizations who wish to conduct events in Kentucky must be licensed by the Department of Charitable Gaming. However, if an organization’s total gross receipts for either raffles or bingo are less than $25,000 per year, then the organization is exempt from this requirement. 

If an organization’s total gross receipts for a year exceed $25,000, it must report the amount to the Department of Charitable Gaming and apply for a retroactive charitable gaming license. This license is identical to a standard charitable gaming license. If approved, the license is issued and becomes retroactively valid from the date that the exemption limit was exceeded.

Types of charitable gaming licenses

Any charitable organization grossing more than $25,000 per year from charitable games must apply for a charitable gaming license. Organizations who do not anticipate exceeding this amount are exempted from this license, however, they must apply for the exemption.

How to apply for a charitable raffle license in Kentucky?

If an organization does not anticipate exceeding $25,000 in a calendar year, then it must apply for a charitable gaming license. The form can be found on the Department of Charitable Gaming’s website. To apply for an exemption to the licensure requirement, organizations must fill out a form from the same website.

How much does a charitable gaming license cost in Kentucky?

There is no license fee to conduct charitable gaming in Kentucky. However, there is a fee of 0.53% on all charitable gaming proceeds.

What is the validity of a charitable raffle license in Kentucky?

Licenses issued by the Department of Charitable Gaming are valid for either one or two years at the discretion of the Department of Charitable Gaming. Charitable gaming exemptions are automatically renewed at the beginning of each calendar year.

How long does it take to get a charitable raffle license in Kentucky?

Applications for both a charitable gaming license and a license exemption must be submitted no less than 60 days before the intended start of gaming.

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

Charitable gaming resources for Kentucky

Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-2611

Department of Charitable Gaming
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-5528

Office of the Attorney General
700 Capital Avenue, Suite 118
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 696-5300

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