Compliance Question of the Week

Are credit unions allowed to hold raffles?

Yes, credit unions may conduct raffles—provided they comply with the rules. A raffle is a game in which numbered tickets are sold for no more than $100 each, and prizes are then awarded by drawing randomly from the pool of tickets sold.

Bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations organized for purposes other than to conduct raffles are authorized to conduct raffles without a gambling license. Because credit unions organized and operating under state or federal law are considered bona fide nonprofit organizations, they can conduct raffles without a gambling license as long as they comply with all of the applicable regulations—and there are several of them.

First, the raffle tickets must have an individual number and cannot be sold for more than $5 each, and a prize must be awarded as a result of the drawing. Only credit union members who are not paid to operate the raffle may sell the raffle tickets, and they can only sell the tickets to credit union members. The winning raffle ticket must be drawn by a person conducting the raffle.

In addition, gross revenues from all raffles held by the organization during a calendar year cannot exceed $5,000. After deducting the cost of prizes and other expenses, gross revenues must be solely devoted to bona fide purposes of the organization. The organization must maintain records showing gross revenue, details of the expenses, and details of the uses of the gross revenue for at least one year.

Furthermore, the organization must give five days advance notice to the local police of the organization’s intent to conduct the activity, the location of the activity, and the date of the activity. Lastly, the organization must abide by all rules established by the Gambling Commission.

Related Links:

RCW 9.46.0277
RCW 9.46.0315
ORS Chapter 464
RCW 9.46.0209
RCW 9.46.0311
RCW 9.46.0321


Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465,

Posted in Compliance News.