University departments, entities, and organizations may conduct
raffles to raise funds in support of university related activities
in accordance with this policy.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) permits departments,
entities, and organizations, to conduct raffles to raise funds in
support of university related activities. Raffles must be conducted
in accordance with university, state, and tax reporting
A university department, entity, or organization planning to
conduct a raffle must review and complete the Raffle
Proposal must be completed and submitted to Financial
Management and the University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF) for
approval prior to the start of raffle ticket sales.
Raffle tickets may not be purchased using university accounts or
All raffle proceeds must be deposited into a University at
Buffalo Foundation account.
To be entitled to any raffle prize, the winning raffle
ticketholder must provide all required documentation within ninety
calendar days after the date the raffle drawing is
conducted. Raffle prizes not properly claimed within ninety
days are deemed forfeited, and any or all of the amount of the
forfeited prizes may be retained by the UBF for its charitable
Within New York State (NYS), the Charitable Gaming Division of
the NYS Gaming Commission governs the conduct of raffles. As a
general rule, a not-for-profit organization that is tax exempt and
which is established to provide a benefit to others may conduct a
The following requirements apply to all raffle categories:
- Raffle tickets may be sold on university premises, and in
certain instances it may be permissible to sell raffle tickets to
the public outside of university premises. Consult with the UBF to
discuss the specifics regarding your raffle intentions.
- Raffle drawings must be conducted on university premises.
- Only persons eighteen years of age or older may purchase raffle
tickets, sell raffle tickets, or conduct or assist in the conduct
of a raffle drawing.
- Raffle tickets may not be sold more than 180 days prior to the
date scheduled for the occasion at which the raffle is
- Raffle tickets may be sold by a member of the university or one
of its affiliates.
- The winner of a raffle prize is not required to be present at
the time the raffle drawing is conducted.
- All proceeds derived from games of chance, including raffles,
must be disbursed solely for lawful purposes pursuant to Article I,
Section 9 of New York State’s Constitution, the Games of
Chance Licensing Law, and the Commission’s Rules and
Regulations, and in accordance with Section 189 of the General
Municipal Law and Part 4624 of the Commission’s Rules and
- A single prize in any raffle may not exceed $100,000.
- The maximum aggregate value of prizes an organization can award
in any one calendar year in all of the different types of raffles,
combined cannot exceed $2,000,000.
- Raffle tickets may not be mailed to purchasers or sold over the
- Raffle tickets may not be purchased with a credit card.
The value of a prize awarded through a raffle is considered
taxable income to the recipient and may require the university to
report the value of the prize to federal and state revenue
agencies, and collect identity information about the winner.
- Certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements exist for
prizes valued at $600 or more and the prize value is more than 300
times the wager requirement.
- If the prize is $5,000 or more, the university may be required
to collect withholding tax from the prize winner.
The federal government may seek federal unrelated business
income tax (UBIT) on the net revenue from the activity. In order to
meet the federal exclusion for UBIT on charitable gaming, units
conducting raffles must maintain accurate records reflecting the
number of hours worked on the raffle by compensated and volunteer
workers. The net revenue can be excluded if substantially all the
work is performed by volunteers.
A raffle involves selling pre-numbered tickets for the
opportunity to win a prize. In some instances the prize may
represent a cash payout. In particular, a 50-50 raffle involves the
sale of pre-numbered raffle tickets with the proceeds being split
evenly between the winner and the organization. When conducting a
game of chance raffle, various university, state, and federal tax
reporting requirements must be considered.
Raffles conducted in NYS are a form of charitable gaming
governed by the Charitable Gaming Division of the NYS Gaming
This policy applies to all raffles conducted by or on behalf of
university departments, entities, and organizations as a form of
university fundraising efforts for university purposes.
Occurs in the form of bingo, bell jar
sales, the conduct of Las Vegas nights, and operation of raffles in
each of the 62 counties of New York.
Games of Chance
Include games known as merchandise
wheels, coin boards, merchandise boards, seal cards, raffles, bell
jars, and such other specific games, in which prizes are awarded on
the basis of a designated winning number or numbers, color or
colors, symbol or symbols determined by chance, but not including
games commonly known as bingo or lotto and also not including
bookmaking, policy, or numbers games and lottery. Games of chance
do not involve wagering of money by one player against another
New York State Gaming Commission
Organization which regulates all
aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including
Events in which a participant pays
money for a ticket that will be randomly drawn to determine the
winner of a merchandise prize. Penny Socials meet the definition of
a Raffle and must be lawfully conducted.
Game of chance in which a participant
pays money in return for a ticket or other receipt and in which a
prize is awarded on the basis of a winning number or numbers, color
or colors, or symbol or symbols designated on the ticket or
receipt, determined by chance as a result of a drawing from among
those tickets or receipts previously sold. (NYS General Municipal
Law, Section 186.3-b)
Raffles include Penny Social, Queen of Hearts, and Treasure Chest
Classification that best describes
the type of raffle an authorized organization intends to conduct.
Raffle categories are defined by the NYS Gaming Commission Division
of Charitable Gaming.
Category 1 – raffle in
which the cumulative net proceeds for all raffles conducted during
the calendar year will meet or exceed $30,000.
Category 2 – raffle in
which net proceeds derived from a single raffle will meet or exceed
$5,000 or the cumulative net proceeds for all raffles conducted
during the calendar year will meet or exceed $20,000, but will be
not meet or exceed $30,000.
Category 3 – raffle in
which net proceeds derived from a single raffle will be less than
$5,000 and the cumulative net proceeds for all raffles conducted
during the calendar year will not meet or exceed $20,000.
A form that must be completed and
submitted to Financial Management and the UBF for approval prior to
the start of raffle ticket sales.
Pre-numbered form utilized to
identify individuals participating in a raffle.
Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification
Form utilized to collect the taxpayer
identification number for the person who is required to file an
information return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to
report income paid.
Unrelated Business Income
Income from a trade or business,
regularly carried on, that is not substantially related to the
charitable, educational, or other purpose that is the basis of the
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