Gambling & Raffles
Pursuant to Arizona laws and Arizona Board of Regents' Policies, ASU has certain restrictions on gambling activities and raffles.
In summary, ASU employees are prohibited from engaging in any form of gambling (legal or illegal) while on duty. And ASU Students are not only prohibited from engaging in illegal gambling under Arizona law, but they are also prohibited from legal gambling that relates to any ASU event.
Furthermore, ASU and its departments and administrative units are not permitted to conduct raffles. Certain organizations wishing to conduct raffles must meet specific conditions.
Under Arizona law (ARS § 13, Chapter 33), all "gambling" is unlawful and subject to criminal penalties unless it falls within a statutory exception. The prohibition against gambling targets the circumstances under which games of chance or skill are played. In Arizona, "gambling" occurs when three circumstances are present:
- an act of risking or giving something of value,
- for the opportunity to obtain a benefit, and
- from a game or contest of chance or skill or a future contingent event.
Each of these elements has a particular definition. One must look to Arizona’s gambling statutes to determine if an exception applies.
There are six statutory exceptions to Arizona’s general prohibition on gambling. All of these exceptions are described in ARS § 13-3302:
- gambling at state, county, or district fairs that satisfy certain restrictions,
- raffles conducted by certain qualifying, non-profit organizations,
- raffles conducted by certain state, county, or local historical societies,
- "regulated gambling,"
- "amusement gambling," and
- "social gambling."
ASU's Policies Concerning Gambling
ASU Employees, refer to SPP 801.
ASU Students, refer to:
ASU Student-Athletes, refer to SDA 403.
Gambling and Alcohol Consumption
People commonly consume alcoholic beverages while they engage in activity that may be considered "gambling." Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol on ASU property is generally prohibited except as is specifically permitted in ASU policies. Those policies apply separate and apart from those that govern gambling and without regard to whether any gambling activity is permissible under ASU Policy or Arizona law.
Refer to Alcohol on Campus on this Web site.
Raffles can be an effective and entertaining way to raise money. If done incorrectly, however, a well-intentioned fund-raiser may violate the Arizona laws that regulate gambling. Violating these laws may create liability for the university and for the individuals involved. Any group planning a raffle should become familiar with this information and should contact the Office of the Arizona Attorney General for additional information.
Unless the organization is a tax-exempt organization as recognized under A.R.S. §43-1201, paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 5 ,6, 7, 10, or 11, the organization may not conduct a raffle or any other form of amusement gambling unless the event is registered with and approved by the Arizona Attorney General's Office (ARS §13-3311). If the organization is a tax-exempt organization as recognized under A.R.S. §42-1201, paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, or 11, then it does not need to be registered with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, but must nonetheless meet the conditions of A.R.S. 13-3302, B.
Because a raffle involves the payment of money for the opportunity to benefit from a future contingent event, it would therefore, be illegal under Arizona gambling law unless the raffle satisfies a narrowly defined statutory exception.
Raffles at ASU
The Arizona Attorney General has determined that ASU and its departments and administrative units are not permitted to conduct raffles.
Conditions Under Which Organizations Can Conduct Raffles
Some other non-profit groups are legally permitted to conduct raffles, however, subject to the limitations. ARS § 13-3302 permits some tax-exempt organizations to conduct raffles, but only if the organization is tax exempt under paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 11 of A.R.S. 43-1201. An organization, such as a student organization or other ASU affiliated organization, cannot legally conduct a raffle unless the organization meets this condition. The organization must also satisfy the following conditions:
- The organization must maintain its nonprofit status.
- No employee, member or agent of the organization may receive any direct or indirect pecuniary benefit from the raffle other than being able to participate in the raffle on a basis equal to all other participants. (This should be stated in the rules of the raffle.)
- The organization must have been in existence continuously for the five-year period preceding the time it conducts the raffle.
- No person except an employee or authorized agent of the organization may participate directly or indirectly in the management, sales, or operation of the raffle. (The "authorized agent" should not be an outside entity hired to run the raffle.)
The organization may sell tickets or request a donation for participation in the raffle only if the above conditions have been satisfied. When selling tickets or promoting the raffle, the organization should not represent that the price of the ticket will be tax deductible. The purchaser of the ticket will need to determine to what extent and what portion of the price of the ticket may be tax deductible.
The organization should consider the nature of the prize(s) and how that might impact who should be eligible to participate. For example, if the prize is an automobile, there may be age restrictions on the entrants, such as to those aged 16 or older. If the prize is something that includes dinner at a nice restaurant, the organization may need to be clear that the prize does not include any alcohol.