Raffle Amendment

On the Nov. 4, 2014 general election ballot, Kansas voter will be able to vote whether or not to make raffles a legal form of gaming in Kansas. Until then, raffles of any nature continue to be illegal.

If the state constitutional amendment passes and raffles are legalized, lawmakers will write the statues regulating raffles during the 2015 Legislative Session.

Lawmakers will be considering several items including:

  • The cost of a raffle license.
  • How often an organization can conduct raffles.
  • Will all organizations need a raffle license if the prize value is minimal?
  • Will the sale of raffle tickets be taxable?
  • Can organizations make their own tickets or do tickets need to be purchased from a licensed distributor?

While lawmakers will establish regulations for raffles if the amendment passes, the ballot question SCR 1618, states:

Only non-profit, religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans organizations may apply for a raffle license.

Electronic gaming or vending machines may not sell or conduct raffles.

The Kansas Department of Revenue will oversee the licensing and regulation of raffles if the constitutional amendment passes in November. The new regulations would likely not take effect until July 2015.

Below is the full text of the constitutional amendment which will appear on the Nov. 4, 2014 general election ballot.

Authorize Raffles; Sub. for SCR 1618

Sub. for SCR 1618 submits a state constitutional amendment for consideration at the next general election, in November 2014. The amendment, if approved by voters, will allow charitable raffles by certain nonprofit organizations.

The proposal will amend Section 3 of Article 15 in the Kansas Constitution to permit "raffles" if authorized by the Legislature. The amendment will allow the Legislature to authorize the licensing, conduct, and regulation of charitable raffles by nonprofit, religious, charitable, fraternal, educational, and veterans organizations.

"Raffle" is defined in the proposed amendment to mean a game of chance in which each participant buys a ticket or tickets from a nonprofit organization, with each ticket providing an equal chance to win a prize and the winner being determined by a random drawing. The following limitations also are included in the constitutional amendment:

  • An organization shall not be able to use an electronic gaming or vending machine to sell tickets or conduct raffles;
  • An organization shall not contract with a professional raffle or other lottery vendor for the management, operation or conduct of any raffle; and
  • Raffles shall be licensed and regulated by the Office of Charitable Gaming, in the Department of Revenue, or by a successor agency.

Section 3 of Article 15 of the Kansas Constitution prohibits lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets. Voters previously approved three amendments to Section 3, allowing exceptions for bingo (Section 3a. in 1974), parimutuel wagering (Section 3b. in 1986), and a state-owned and -operated lottery (Section 3c. in 1986). This proposal adds a fourth exception in the amendment for raffles, if approved by the voters.

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