Raffle and Bazaar Permits

Massachusetts law prohibits most forms of gambling, but permits raffles to be conducted by certain non-profit organizations. (MGL, Chapter 271, Section 7A). A nonprofit organization which can show it has been operating in the Town of Montague for two or more years and has a charitible or civic purpose may apply for a raffle permit.

The Fee for a raffle permit is $10 and is valid for one year. The organization may hold multiple raffle events during the permit year, but must report proceeds for each event as it is concluded. The organization must submit an annual report to the Town Clerk's office at the close of the permit period.

A Raffle is defined in MGL 271:7A as an arrangement for raising money by the sale of tickets, certain among which, as determined by chance after the sale, entitle the holder to prizes.

A Bazaar is defined in MGL 271:7a as a place maintained by the sponsoring organization for disposal by means of chance one or both of the following types of prizes (1) merchandise of any value (2) cash awards, not to exceed $25 each. A Casino night may also be considered a Bazaar.

The Attorney General has promulgated regulations, 940CMR12.00 and 13.00 regarding the conduct of raffles and bazaars.

Qualifications of Organization

  1. Type of Organization
    1. Veteran’s organization
    2. Church or religious organization
    3. Fraternal organization
    4. Educational or charitable organization (incl Public School Depts, parent – teacher organizations)
    5. Civic or service organizations
    6. Clubs organized and operated exclusively for pleasure, recreation, or other purposes
  2. Organized and Actively functioning as NONPROFIT organization in MONTAGUE
  3. Two years or more in existence

Purposes of Proceeds

Must be used exclusively for the purposes stated in the application and are limited to the following: educational, charitable, religious, fraternal, civic, or veteran’s benefits.

Operation of the Raffle or Bazaar

Promotion of the raffle or bazaar must be confined to the members of the sponsoring organization. No member shall be compensated for time or effort devoted to the promotion of the event.


  • Applications shall be made the to town clerk of the town in which the raffle will be drawn. Tickets may be sold in several towns.

  • Application must contain the name and address of the applicant, evidence of qualification of the organization, names of three officers or members, purposes of the proceeds.

  • Filing Fee is $10.00 (Montague)


  • Obtain application from Town Clerk

  • Submit application and documentation of eligibility and fee to town clerk. (If a renewal, Annual Report from prior year must be on file)

  • Complete Notice of Issuance of Raffle License for Mass State Lottery and return to town clerk

  • Application is then presented to chief of police for his approval/signature

  • Application is returned to Town Clerk for issuance of the license. Organization receives two certified copies of the permit (one is for ticket printer)

  • Permit must be issued or denied within 30 days of application.

  • Valid for one year (organization may conduct multiple raffles, or 2 bazaars)

  • Permits may be revoked if non-members promote the raffle, uses of proceeds are not as stated in the application, payments are made for promotion of raffle, or facts on the application have changed without notice to the clerk.

  • Organization must file annual report within 30 days of expiration of permit detailing number of events, amount raised, expenses, names of winners of prizes valued at more than $25, uses of the net proceeds; signed by the people on the application and an accountant.

  • Renewal of permit is conditional upon timely receipt of 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) Call 781-849-5555 for additional information on taxation questions. The tax on gross proceeds is payable even for non-profits because it is a tax on wagering, not income.

  • Organization must keep records sufficient to substantiate information required by annual report.