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Florida Statute 849.0935 Summary

Florida Statute 849.0935 pertains to charitable, nonprofit organizations conducting drawings by chance, commonly known as raffles. Here is a summary of the key points covered in this statute:

  1. Definition of Drawing by Chance: The statute defines "drawing by chance" or "raffle" as an enterprise in which entries submitted by the public are randomly selected to win a prize. It explicitly excludes other enterprises like "game promotions" and "instant winner" contests.

  2. Eligible Organizations: Only organizations that are tax-exempt under specific sections of the Internal Revenue Code (501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19)) and possess a current determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, along with their bona fide members or officers, are permitted to conduct drawings by chance.

  3. Compliance with Chapter 496: Organizations must comply with all applicable provisions of Chapter 496 and this section to conduct such drawings.

  4. Disclosure Requirements: Any materials related to the drawing must clearly disclose:

    • Rules governing the drawing's operation.
    • The full name of the organization and its primary location.
    • The source of funds for cash prizes or prize purchases.
    • The date, time, and location of the prize drawing unless the materials are distributed within three days of the drawing.
    • A statement that no purchase or contribution is required to participate.
  5. Prohibited Activities: Organizations conducting drawings by chance are prohibited from various activities, including:

    • Predetermining winners through matching, instant win, or rigged selection methods.
    • Requiring entry fees, donations, substantial consideration, or proof of purchase as a condition of entry.
    • Setting conditions related to the minimum number of tickets distributed or minimum contributions.
    • Discriminating between entrants based on contributions.
    • Failing to promptly notify winners.
    • Not awarding all offered prizes.
    • Engaging in deceptive or misleading advertising.
    • Canceling a drawing or linking prize acquisition to voluntary donations.
  6. Ticket Distribution Limits: The organization conducting the drawing can limit the number of tickets distributed to each entrant.

  7. Penalties: Violations of this section are considered deceptive and unfair trade practices. Organizations or individuals found in violation may face misdemeanor charges of the second degree, punishable by fines as specified in state law.

  8. Exemption for State Lottery: This section does not apply to the state lottery operated under Chapter 24.

Is it possible to have an electronic raffle that allows participants to win immediately?

The Florida Statute 849.0935, which governs drawings by chance (raffles) conducted by charitable, nonprofit organizations, does not explicitly mention electronic raffles or immediate winners. However, it does provide certain regulations and prohibitions related to the conduct of drawings by chance.

Based on the statute's provisions, it is essential to ensure that any electronic raffle conducted in Florida by a charitable or nonprofit organization complies with the following key points:

  1. Prohibited Practices: The statute prohibits predetermined winners, rigged selections, and requiring substantial consideration, among other things. It's important to design electronic raffles in a way that maintains fairness and prevents any form of rigging or predetermination.

  2. Entry Fees and Donations: Organizations are not allowed to require entry fees, donations, or substantial consideration as a condition of participation. However, suggesting a minimum donation is permitted.

  3. Disclosure Requirements: All materials related to the electronic raffle must clearly disclose rules, organization details, source of funds, and the fact that no purchase or contribution is necessary to enter.

  4. Prize Awarding: Organizations must award all prizes offered in the raffle promptly. Immediate winners may be possible, but the process must be transparent and fair.

  5. Advertising and Deception: Organizations must avoid deceptive or misleading advertising practices related to the raffle.

  6. Ticket Distribution Limits: The organization conducting the raffle may limit the number of tickets distributed to each entrant.

  7. Penalties: Violations of these rules may result in misdemeanor charges and penalties.

In summary, this statute outlines the rules and regulations governing charitable, nonprofit organizations' conduct of drawings by chance (raffles) in Florida, including disclosure requirements, prohibited practices, and penalties for violations. It aims to ensure fairness, transparency, and compliance with state laws in conducting such activities.