Georgia law §16-12-22.1 requires any entity performing a raffle to obtain a permit from the Sheriff’s Office of the county in which it is located. The only entities permitted to operate a raffle are nonprofit, tax-exempt churches, schools, civic organizations, or related support groups; nonprofit organizations qualified under §501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or bona fide nonprofit organizations approved by the sheriff.
The following are required by the laws of this state in order to conduct a raffle:
- The Sheriff’s Office may require an annual fee up to $100.00.
- Tax exempt organization must have been in existence for a minimum of 24 months.
- Determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service certifying applicant is a tax exempt entity
- If the location where the raffle is conducted is leased or rented, a copy of the lease or rental agreement
- A statement showing any convictions for criminal offenses, other than minor traffic offenses, of each person listed.
- The license shall expire on December 31st at 12:00 midnight in the year of issuance. You must renew the license to legally conduct annual raffles.
- Renewal applications MUST BE submitted prior to January 1st of each year.
- On or before April 15th of each year, every licensed organization shall file with the Sheriff’s Office a report disclosing all receipts and expenditures relating to the operation of raffles in the previous year. The report shall be prepared and signed by a certified or registered public accountant competent to prepare such a report and shall be deemed a public record subject to public inspection.
- You may not conduct more than one raffle on any given calendar day.
- A special license may be issued by the Sheriff’s Office to conduct no more than three (3) raffles in the calendar year. The application and license fee and the annual report are waived under the special license.
Operating a raffle without the license or failing to meet the requirements of statute is a violation of Georgia Law and subject to prosecution. Operating without a license is committing the offense of commercial gambling as defined by Georgia Law §16-12-22. Any person participating in the operation of a raffle without a valid license similarly commits the offense and is subject to prosecution.
Operating without a license is considered a felony and upon conviction may be punished by incarceration of not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years, or a fine not to exceed $20,000.00, or both.
Any person violating the operational requirements as provided by the statute may be found guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor. A second conviction of such act would be considered a felony and subject to confinement of not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years, or a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both.
Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
Public Safety Building, Second Floor
185 Roswell Street
Marietta, Georgia 30060
Telephone: (770) 499-4618
Facsimile: (770) 499-4794