Raffles Policy and Resources
Raffles are strictly regulated by the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Listed below are links to the University’s policy on raffles and resources to assist the University community in complying with local and state laws and regulations.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the University Counsel at (206) 296-2043 or the Washington State Gambling Commission Regulation Unit at (509) 325-7900.
Seattle University Policy on Raffles
It is the policy of Seattle University to comply with the Washington State Gambling Act of 1973 (RCW 9.46) and the Washington State Gambling Commission (“WSGC”) rules (WAC 230-11) governing raffles.
Purpose of Raffle Policy
To comply with city and state laws and regulations which regulate gambling activities, including raffles, and to protect the University from imposition of penalties.
Procedures and Guidelines
Raffles are considered a gambling activity under the Washington State Gambling Act. As a bona fide nonprofit organization, Seattle University is permitted to conduct raffles consistent with city and state laws and regulations.
The University offers the following guidelines to assist the University community in conducting raffles to raise funds for the University and comply with the city and state laws and regulations.
- Raffle Rules: Review the WSGC raffle rules (WAC 230-11).
- Notify Police:
- Notify the Seattle Police Department in writing at least five (5) days before selling raffle tickets by emailing the date and location of the raffle to the sergeant of the East Precinct’s Community Policing Team. To find the email address of the current sergeant, search the East Precinct contacts webpage.
- Raffle License: Prominently display a copy of the University's Raffle License at the site and time of the raffle drawing.
- Raffle Tickets:
- Maximum price per ticket is $100.
- Tickets must be consecutively numbered or printed with letters or symbols that do not repeat.
- Individuals must be 18 years or older to purchase tickets.
- Rules of Play: Print the following information on each raffle ticket or on a handout that is distributed or displayed at the event:
- Cost per chance ($100 maximum).
- Date, time and location of the drawing.
- Seattle University and the name of the sponsoring University department, club or organization.
- Whether or not winners must be present for the drawing.
- Description of all prizes to be awarded. If the prize is a percentage of raffle gross receipts, a minimum prize must be disclosed.
- Determining Winners: Ticket stubs from all raffle sales must be placed into a receptacle and selected randomly to allow an equal chance of winning.
- Prizes: All prizes must be owned by the University before they are awarded to raffle winners. If the retail value of a prize is more than $40,000, or if you will give away more than $300,000 in prizes during the year, you must get prior approval from the WSGC. Please contact the Office of University Counsel at (206) 296-2043 for guidance and assistance.
- Accounting and Local Taxes: Raffle receipts must be separately identified in the general ledger with appropriate coding so the University can comply with local tax requirements. Raffle receipts should be coded using the general ledger object “4903036 Fundraising Bingo & Raffle.” After coding receipts to this object, the sponsoring University department should notify the Controller’s Office and provide an expense account code where the related taxes can be charged. The current tax rate for Seattle taxes is 5%.
- Filing Requirements and Schedule: After the raffle, provide a copy of the completed WSGC Raffle Recordkeeping Packet to the Office of Finance and Business Affairs based on the filing schedule listed below. The University is required to submit quarterly reports to the WSGC for all raffles that were conducted and pay corresponding state licensing fees and local taxes on revenue generated from the raffles.
- Raffle Manager: The Raffle Manager must go through the Washington State Gambling Training. Please be sure to review the sections on Criminal Violations and Rules for Raffles, 230-06, 230-07, and 230-11, on the Gambling Commission Training page.
|Date of Raffle
||Deadline to Submit Raffle Recordkeeping Packet to Office of Finance and Business Affairs
|July 1-September 30
|October 1-December 31
|January 1-March 31
|April 1-June 30
Additional Information and Resources
Questions? Please keep in mind that these guidelines do not address every situation. If you have any questions about raffles, please contact the Office of University Counsel at 206-296-2043. Your cooperation is both necessary and appreciated.
Are raffles considered gambling?
Yes, raffles are gambling activities under the Washington State Gambling Act (RCW 9.46).
What is the definition of raffle?
Raffle “means a game in which tickets bearing an individual number are sold for not more than one hundred dollars each and in which a prize or prizes are awarded on the basis of a drawing from the tickets by the person or persons conducting the game, when the game is conducted by a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization, no person other than a bona fide member of the organization takes any part in the management or operation of the game, and no part of the proceeds thereof inure to the benefit of any person other than the organization conducting the game.” RCW 9.46.0277
Who regulates raffles?
The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) regulates raffles.
Where can I find out more information about the requirements for raffles?
Here are a few resources:
How should I provide a copy of the completed WSGC Raffle Recordkeeping Packet to the Office of Finance and Business Affairs?
Email a copy of the completed packet and any questions you might have to Elise Rannestad, Senior Executive Coordinator for the VP of Finance & Business Affairs and CFO.
What if my department holds a drawing for door prizes and attendees aren’t required to purchase tickets to participate? Does this constitute a raffle?
Drawings for prizes that don’t involve selling tickets are not considered raffles. Under the Gambling Act, raffle “means a game in which tickets bearing an individual number are sold for not more than one hundred dollars each and in which a prize or prizes are awarded on the basis of a drawing from the tickets by the person or persons conducting the game, when the game is conducted by a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization, no person other than a bona fide member of the organization takes any part in the management or operation of the game, and no part of the proceeds thereof inure to the benefit of any person other than the organization conducting the game.” RCW 9.46.0277
Wasn't there a requirement to notify the City of Seattle before holding a raffle?
Yes. The city requires SU to submit a form declaring our intent to conduct gambling activities, including raffles. We contacted the city and it confirmed that SU only needs to submit one form that will cover all our raffles. The form has been submitted and accepted, thus you no longer need to notify the city for your specific SU raffle event. However, the requirement to notify the Seattle Police Department remains. (See Section 2 of the Policy on Raffles).