Regulatory Guidance
December 14, 2021

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in Tennessee

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 November 25, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.

Charitable gaming events like raffles are some of the best ways to raise both awareness and money for an organization. With a great balance of low cost, easy implementation, and wide appeal, charitable gaming can be a great idea for any nonprofit. Charitable gaming is a great tool to drive cost-effective community engagement, making it an attractive option for nonprofit organizations, charities, and foundations. Registered charities and veteran’s organizations can apply to operate a charitable raffle in Tennessee.

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Tennessee

How does the state of Tennessee define charitable gaming?

The state of Tennessee authorizes the conduct of raffles and reverse raffles for charitable fundraising. Such organizations may hold only a single annual event, defined as:

  • Authorized by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly;
  • Operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organization located in Tennessee;
  • Conducted with a single type of lottery game;
  • Conducted on an event date; and
  • Conducted at a location within a county where the organization maintains a physical presence or in a county that is contiguous to a county where the organization maintains a physical presence.

Who can conduct online charitable raffle events in Tennessee?

Tennessee allows for organizations that are registered with the IRS under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) to apply for a charitable raffle license. Additionally, the organization must have been active in Tennessee for no less than five years and have a physical presence in the county where the event will take place. Any organization that wishes to operate a charity raffle must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Licensing and registration requirements for raffles in Tennessee

Types of charitable raffle licenses

The state of Tennessee offers a single type of license for charity raffles. This license entitles the holder to operate a single charity raffle event between July 1 and June 30 of the following year.

How to apply for a charitable raffle license in Tennessee?

To apply for a charitable raffle license in Tennessee, an organization must complete form SS-6069 and mail or deliver it to the office of the Division of Business and Charitable Operations. All applications must be postmarked no later than January 31. A full checklist and detailed instructions can be found on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website.

How much does a charitable raffle license cost in Tennessee?

The application fee for a charitable raffle license in Tennessee is $10.

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

All charity raffle licenses issued by the state of Tennessee are valid from July 1 of the year it was issued until June 30 of the following year. During this time, each licensed organization may operate one charity raffle event.

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

The period for submitting applications begins on July 1 and continues until January 31 of the following year. All applications must be submitted no later than January 31 for an event that must take place between July 1 of that same year and June 30 of the following year. For example, if an organization applies by January 31, 2022, to conduct an annual gaming event, it may only apply for a date between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

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

Charitable gaming resources for Tennessee

Tennessee Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Address: 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243
Website: https://sos.tn.gov/charitable
Phone: (615) 741-2555

Office of the Governor of Tennessee
Address: 600 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243
Website: https://www.tn.gov/governor.html
Phone: (615) 741-2001

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Address: 500 Deaderick St, 
Nashville, TN 37242
Website: https://www.tn.gov/revenue.html
Phone: (615) 253-0600

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