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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9389
Experience:  Since 1983
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I want to start a non-profit, where people can have contests

Resolved Question:

I want to start a non-profit, where people can have contests and gambling on-line thru a variety of subjects. Some of the winnings will go to the winner of the contest, the rest will go towards raising money for the non-profit which will help in fighting poverty in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. I have seen other organizations such as the Lions club and American Legion run similar fundraising events off-line. Is this a reasonable organization to start? What would make it legal?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
It would take an Act of Congress and an Act of the State legislature to make this legal. Existing law forbids gambling. There are limited exceptions for church bingo and occasional fund raisers by legitimate nonprofits, but no law allows a nonprofit to host a gambling website.

My opinion is that this would not be a reasonable or legally possible organization.

You can get a free consultation from some of the criminal defense lawyers listed by location in Maryland at

I hope this information is helpful. I know it is not what you had hoped to hear but the law seems clear that this would not be legal under existing law in any US State. It would be unprofessional of me, and a disservice to you, to give you anything but my honest opinion.
N Cal Attorney and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.