Raffle & Bazaar Permits

Although Massachusetts General Laws prohibit most forms of gambling in the Commonwealth, an exception under M.G.L. chapter 271, section 7A and its implementing regulations, 940 CMR 12, allow for some nonprofit organizations to be permitted to hold certain gaming activities through raffles and bazaars in order to fundraise. Please review the Attorney General's website for additional information.

A nonprofit organization which can show it has been organized and actively functioning as a nonprofit organization in the commonwealth for a period of not less than two years may apply for a raffle permit.

The Raffle Permit Fee in the Town of Oxford is $10.

Qualifications of Organizations

  • Type of Organization:
    • Veteran's organization
    • Church or religious organization
    • Fraternal organization
    • Educational or charitable organization (including Public School Departments, parent - teacher organization)
    • Civic or service organizations
    • Clubs organized and operated exclusively for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofit purposes
  • Active nonprofit organization in the Commonwealth for two years or more

Obtaining a Permit

Before conducting a raffle, M.G.L. chapter 271, section 7A  requires the organization to obtain a raffle/bazaar permit from the City or Town clerk where the raffle is going to be held.

The permit application and notice of issuance forms must include:

  • The name and address of the organization
  • The evidence it relies on to qualify for a permit
  • The names of three officers or members who are responsible for the raffle
  • The purpose/ use to which the net proceeds will be applied

The process to obtain a permit is as follows:

  • Submit the following to the Town Clerk for review:
    • Application
    • Documentation of Eligibility
    • The fee which is $10, can be made by cash, check or money order, made payable to the Town
    • of Oxford.
    • Annual Report from the prior year (required for renewal permits only)
    • Notice of Issuance of Raffle License for Mass State Lottery
    • Completed Applications are then presented to Chief of Police for approval and signature
    • Permits must be issued or denied within 30 days of application
    • If endorsed by the Police Chief, the Town Clerk will then issue the Permit as well as send a copy to the Commission of Public Safety and the Lottery Commission.
    • The Lottery Commission will send a financial form to the organization which needs to be filed with them within 10 days after the completion of the raffle.
    • Approved permits are valid for one year (organization may conduct multiple raffles, or up to 3 bazaars within the duration of the permit).

Post Raffle Filings

An organization must file an annual report within 30 days of the expiration of the permit detailing the number of events, the amount raised, expenses, names of winners of prizes valued at more than $250, and uses of the net proceeds; signed by the people on the application and an accountant.

Renewal of a permit is conditional upon receipt of the annual report to the Town Clerk.

Organizations must keep records sufficient to substantiate information required by the annual report.

State Lottery commission will issue appropriate tax forms (5% excise tax on wagering on gross proceeds payable within 10 days of each event). The tax on gross proceeds is payable even for non-profits because it is a tax on wagering, not income.