Raffles – O.C.G.A. 16-12-22.1
What is a raffle? Georgia law defines a raffle as: "Raffle" means any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize. Such term shall also include door prizes which are awarded to persons attending meetings or activities provided that the cost of admission to such meetings or activities does not exceed the usual cost of similar activities where such prizes are not awarded.
Authorization of Raffles: It is the intention of the General Assembly that only nonprofit, tax-exempt churches, schools, civic organizations, or related support groups; nonprofit organizations qualified under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or bona fide nonprofit organizations approved by the sheriff, which are properly licensed pursuant to this Code section shall be allowed to operate raffles. As used in this Code section, the term: "Nonprofit, tax-exempt organization" means churches, schools, civic organizations, or related support groups; nonprofit organizations qualified under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or bona fide nonprofit organizations approved by the sheriff.
License Requirements: No qualified organization will be permitted to operate a raffle until the Sheriff issues a license to the organization authorizing it to do so.
How to get a license: The organization shall make an application to the Sheriff on forms prescribed by the Sheriff and shall pay an annual fee of $100. This fee may be waived upon request.
Penalties: The sheriff is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations which the sheriff deems necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this code section(16-12-22.1) which are not in conflict with any provision of this code section(16-12-22.1). Any person who operates a raffle without a valid license issued by the sheriff as provided in this Code section commits the offense of commercial gambling as defined in Code Section 16-12-22 and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished accordingly. Any person who knowingly aids, abets, or otherwise assists in the operation of a raffle for which a license has not been obtained as provided in this Code section similarly commits the offense of commercial gambling. Any person who violates any other provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Any person who commits any such violation after having previously been convicted of any violations of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both.
This has been a brief overview of who can obtain a license and how to obtain one. We encourage you to review the raffle law and our Rabun County Sheriff’s Office Raffle Application to see if your organization qualifies to conduct a raffle and the requirements for your organization once your license is approved.
If you have any questions pertaining to conducting raffles in Rabun County you may
or contact by phone at 706-960-9767.