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 15, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.
As a fundraiser, events such as raffles and sweepstakes represent a great balance of low cost and far reach. Charitable gaming presents a good means of raising funds and awareness for an organization. There are few things that can drive community engagement as effectively as prizes. This makes online charitable gaming an attractive option for nonprofit organizations.
Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for New Jersey
How does the state of New Jersey define charitable gaming?
The state of New Jersey allows municipalities to provide exemptions from its ban on gambling for qualified nonprofits to run raffles and bingo.
Raffles, sweepstakes, and bingo may be run by qualified nonprofit organizations so long as the municipality has voted to allow charitable gaming. These events require a license issued by the municipality. All proceeds must be donated to educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public-spirited uses.
Who can conduct online charitable gaming events in New Jersey?
The New Jersey state constitution requires that any entity wishing to operate charitable gaming be a bona fide veterans, charitable, educational, religious or fraternal organization, civic and service club, senior citizen association or club, volunteer fire company, or first-aid or rescue squad. These organizations must possess a 501(c)(3) and register with the Charitable Registration and Investigation Section (CRIS) of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Registration with CRIS must be completed before applying at the local level.
Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable gaming in New Jersey
Types of charitable gaming licenses
The state of New Jersey requires a license to run charitable gaming events including raffles and bingo. However, the state also requires that each license be submitted to—and approved by—the clerk of the municipality where the games will take place. Organizations must file a license application for each separate type of game of chance it intends to conduct from the appropriate municipality where the games are to be held.
How to apply for a charitable raffle license in New Jersey?
After registering with CRIS, any organization must apply with the local clerk of the municipality where the game will take place.
How much does a charitable gaming license cost in New Jersey?
CRIS charges a fixed amount for state approval.
- Raffles: The price of a raffle license varies depending on the type and location of the raffle. For full details, please see the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website.
- Bingo: The fees for a bingo license from CRIS are $20 for each occasion on which each bingo game will be held under the license.
In addition, the prices for a charitable gaming license in New Jersey vary from one municipality to the next.
What is the validity of a charitable raffle license in New Jersey?
Any gaming license issued in the state of New Jersey has a maximum validity of one year.
How long does it take to get a charitable raffle license in New Jersey?
No application for the issuance of a license will be refused without a hearing, at which the applicant can argue for their case. There is no concrete timeline for the approval of a charitable gaming license in the New Jersey state constitution.
Charitable gaming resources for New Jersey
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: (973) 504-6200
New Jersey Attorney General’s Office
RJ Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market Street, Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625-0080