Regulatory Guidance
January 19, 2022

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in Ohio

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 January 19, 2022, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.

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 while keeping costs low, making online charitable gaming an attractive option for nonprofit organizations. 

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Ohio

How does Ohio define charitable gaming?

The state of Ohio defines a raffle as a game in which one or more prizes are won by one or more persons who have purchased a raffle ticket. The winners of the raffle are determined by drawing a ticket stub or other detachable section from a receptacle containing ticket stubs or detachable sections corresponding to all tickets sold for the raffle.

Overview of regulatory guidance for online charitable gaming-based fundraisers in Ohio

Overview of regulatory guidance for online charitable gaming-based fundraisers in Ohio

Are charitable on-site electronic and online raffles legal in Ohio?

Yes, the state of Ohio authorizes the conduct of online and electronic raffles for qualifying non-profit organizations. 

What types of lottery programs can be run in Ohio?

The state of Ohio authorizes qualified organizations to operate raffles and 50/50 raffles.

Can raffle/lottery tickets be sold online for charitable fundraisers in Ohio?

Yes, organizations that are qualified to operate charitable raffles in Ohio can sell tickets online or electronically.

Who can conduct charitable gaming-based raffle events in Ohio?

Subject to division A-2 of Section 2915.092 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), a person or entity that is exempt from federal income taxation under subsection 501(a) and is described in subsection 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), 501(c)(8), 501(c)(10), or 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code may conduct a raffle to raise money. These eligible organizations do not need a license to conduct a raffle. However, the raffles must be conducted in compliance with ORC. 

Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable raffles in Ohio 

Do you need a license to run a charitable raffle in Ohio?

Eligible organizations (as outlined above) are permitted to conduct a charitable raffle without a license, provided they comply with the Ohio Revised Code (ORC)

Types of charitable raffle licenses in Ohio

Ohio does not require or provide licenses for charitable raffles. 

Can Ascend assist with running an online raffle-based fundraiser in Ohio?

Yes, Ascend can assist nonprofits and charitable organizations with running an online raffle-based fundraiser in Ohio. 

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

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Charitable gaming resources for Ohio

Charitable Law Section 
30 E. Broad St., 25th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 
Phone: 800-282-0515 
Fax: 614-466-9788 
Email: CharitableLaw@OhioAGO.gov 

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