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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I am throwing a retreat and I want to have people donate $20

Customer Question

I am throwing a retreat and I want to have people donate $20 over the period of a 3 months. At the same time people will write in why they should be chosen for the scholarship fund (it's to fund handspinners to go to a week long handspinning retreat with teachers from around the world). At the end of the month the editorial board of the magazine putting on the retreat will choose who the fund will sponsor out of the people that sent in essays and also choose one of the donaters to sponsor as well. Is this legal or considered an illegal raffle? I'm in Missouri and don't want to break raffle laws.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard

So are the "hand spinners" is a non profit organization?

The Missouri Attorney General has reported that A raffle is a game in which a participant buys a ticket for a chance at a prize, with the winner determined by a random drawing to take place at a location and date printed on the ticket.

Missouri does not allow any organization to organize or participate in raffles unless they are recognized under federal law as a non-profit charitable or religious organization. So being a non profit is going to be key.

In addition, it can be argued that an Essay is not a game of chance but instead a skill.

The Missouri law defines a game of chance in this regard

(14) "Games of chance", any gambling game in which the player's expected return is not favorably increased by his or her reason, foresight, dexterity, sagacity, design, information or strategy;

To be clear on this, however, I suggest you check with your county commissioners and they can help you to get a permit, if needed.