Although Massachusetts General Laws prohibit most forms of gambling in the Commonwealth, an exception is made under Chapter 271, Section 7A for certain non-profit organizations that wish to raise funds through raffles and bazaars. Organizations meeting the criteria outlines in the law may aply for a permit from the City/Town Clerk where the raffle drawing or casino night will take place.
The permit application fee in Norfolk is $25.00.
A permit will be issued only after approval of the application by the Town Clerk and the Chief of Police. The permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance. An unlimited number of raffles, but only three bazaars (casino nights) may be held within the duration of the permit.
Gross proceeds of raffles and bazaars are subject to a 5% Massachusetts excise tax on wagering. Proceeds must be reports to the Lottery Commission and taxes paid within ten (10) days after each event. The Lottery Commission will send the appropriate tax reporting forms to the sponsoring organization. Addition forms can be obtained by calling the Lottery Commission at 781-848-7755.
At the end of the permit's validity, and before a renewal permit can be issued, an Annual Report must be filed with the City/Town Clerk. The report must list all income and expenses associated with raffles and bazaars for the duration of the permit, as well as the names and addresses of participants who won prizes valued at $25.00 or more. The report must be signed by the members of the organization listed on the original permit application, as well as the organization's accountant.
Organizations holding raffle/bazaar permits are responsible for adhering to the regulations outlines in Chapter 217, Section 7A. There are additional regulations in 940 CMR 12 for raffles in which the value of prizes exceeds $10,000 or in which the ticket price exceeds $10.00. Bazaars (casino nights) are also governed by 940 CMR 13. Questions about these regulations can be directed to the Lottery Commission at 781-848-7755.
Also see FAQs about nonprofit gaming events