Raffles and Fundraisers
Any event, activity, or program which charges a price for participating and involves a chance to win, or awards prizes, constitutes a raffle. A raffle is considered to be a gambling activity in Massachusetts and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission (MSLC)
The WPI Student Activities Office (SAO) maintains an annual raffle permit which allows student organizations to hold raffles for the benefit of the organization or other charitable causes.
The procedure to conduct a raffle is as follows:
- An organization wishing to hold a raffle must complete a raffle request form available online.
- If the request is approved, the student organization may proceed in printing tickets and advertising the raffle.
- Upon completion of a raffle, the organization must complete a MSLC Raffle and/or Bazaar Tax Return (available in the SAO). The completed form (with a check for applicable taxes) must be returned to the SAO within seven (7) days. Organizations failing to file a tax return will not be permitted to hold future raffles.
- Organizations must also submit the names and addresses of all winners of $25 or more to the SAO for use with the annual report to the MSLC. This list is required when you submit the MSLC Tax Return noted above.
- When the proceeds exceed $1,000 (after the price of the ticket is subtracted) the payer must withhold tax monies at the rate of 20%, even if the prize is other than cash. Gambling winnings are treated as payments by employer to employee for federal withholding tax purposes.