Regulatory Guidance
November 12, 2021

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in North Carolina

With a great balance of low cost, easy implementation, and wide appeal, charitable gaming can be a great idea for any nonprofit. As a fundraiser, events such as raffles and sweepstakes represent a great means of creating community engagement, making online charitable gaming an attractive option for nonprofits and charities. Nonprofit organizations are allowed to apply for licenses to run charity games in North Carolina.

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for North Carolina

How does the state of North Carolina define charitable gaming?

The state of North Carolina has provisions allowing for qualified charitable or non-profit organizations to conduct raffles and bingo.

  • Raffles may be conducted by any nonprofit organization recognized as tax-exempt under North Carolina General Statutes. Each such organization may operate up to two raffles per year.
  • Bingo games may be operated by “exempt organizations” as defined in the North Carolina General Statutes. Such organizations may operate bingo games no more than twice a week.

Who can conduct online charitable raffles in North Carolina?

The organizations that are entitled to operate charitable gaming events in North Carolina depend on the game being operated. In most cases, guidelines suggest that the organization must have existed in the county where the event will take place for a minimum of one year prior to the scheduled event date.

Raffles in North Carolina may be operated by any organization which is exempt from Federal taxes. Additionally, several types of organizations are entitled to operate charitable raffles including (but not limited to): fraternal societies, cooperative banks (with limits), cemetery corporations, business leagues, and farmers’ associations. A full list can be found here.

Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable gaming in North Carolina

Types of charitable gaming licenses

North Carolina requires nonprofit organizations to apply and register as “exempt” before operating any charitable games. Exempt organizations may operate raffles without any further license. 

How to apply for a charitable raffle license in North Carolina?

Charity gaming licenses and exempt statuses are handled by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation – Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch. Any organization wishing to operate charity gaming in North Carolina must first apply for “exempt” status. This can be done by filling out this form. In order to operate raffles, no further license is required. 

How much does a charitable gaming license cost in North Carolina?

Applying for a bingo license in North Carolina requires a non-refundable $200 fee.

What is the validity of a charitable raffle license in North Carolina?

All licenses are valid for one year from the date of issue.

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

North Carolina requires that all license applications be processed within ten days of receipt of application.

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

Charitable gaming resources for North Carolina

North Carolina Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Phone: (919) 814-2000

North Carolina State Department of Investigation
3320 Garner Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610
Phone: (919) 662-4500

North Carolina Attorney General
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Phone 919-716-6000

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