Friday, August 28, 2009

Raffles & Merci

Pet bloggers are a great group, always helping each other whenever they can. Sometimes the idea of a raffle arises as a means to provide help, but there are always unanswered questions. At least with us there are because we're curious.

So tonight we googled to try to find out whether raffles are legal. Evidently they are in some states and under certain conditions, but ..... There's a big but. Raffles are considered a type of gambling. And this short explanation seems to cover it the best.

"In the states where raffles are legal, the proceeds must benefit a registered charitable organization or school. The raffle cannot be a for-profit money making venture for a business or individual."

Are raffles legal in the United States? Read more about it on

We're being kicked off the computer tomorrow, so we might not get to post.

We haven't posted Merci's link to the Cutest Dog Contest this week but a new week begins Sunday a.m.


  1. Well, aren't all the lotteries jus state sponsored raffles?
    - TBH&K

  2. I think the issue isn't the legality of raffles per se but whether paypal labels them as gambling. Paypal is an international payment processor as well, so it's not just within the US but within the world.

    Paypal's policies can actually be stricter than any particular state, but they can not allow something to happen in a state where something is illegal--hence the sweeping problems.

    When we agree to use paypal, we agree to their terms of service. If that means paypal writes anything in their terms if we violate them they can terminate our account. That means we are responsible for reading and understanding their terms of service.

    The other side of this is that terms are often vague and subject to the understanding of the various paypal officials who are working a certain department. This is why something can be done for awhile and then suddenly people get in trouble for it. Understanding and knowing the terms of service and what they mean is the only way to combat that. I haven't read up on raffles at paypal so I don't know how clearly they define a gambling or a raffle. However, you can get supervisors on there who will often listen to certain arguments. If you can show that you are not actually in violation of the terms you can get your account back--but it takes persistence.

    I used to do paid to read stuff and paypal issues would come and bite people every few months. Legitimate sites would get their accounts reinstated. Now PTR's a total cesspool so I don't keep up on things. There are some other processors out there but they don't have paypal's legitimacy. Find out what the real gambling sites are using for online payment--but the question becomes do we trust them with our money?

  3. I only gamble with temptations, never with greenies... greenies are WAY too yummy to lose.

  4. Every state has different rules so some groups have silent auctions instead.

  5. We don't know how paypal works, but we wonder if it would make a difference if raffle entries were made on one site but then people were directed to the Paypal site where they would make a 'donation' to the specific person/charity etc. That way the word raffle doesn't come into it as far as Paypal is concerned.

  6. It's too confusing for us. And with each state having it's own rules it would give one a headache. For example in MS Lotteries are illegal. But you can go to the casinos which are legal, you can play bingo and we thinks you can have raffles (we thinks raffles and draw downs are the same thing). ~S,S,C & F

  7. Oh and unless they have changed the law you can't teach courses in casino gambling in MS. So all the casino workers have to go out of state for their training or come from out of state to fill the jobs. Isn't that just plain crazy? ~S,S,C & F

  8. Any lottery or raffle ran by a state, city or government is legal to them because they get all the money, they can & they do. A little old raffle though, might be a problem, the big guys want there take.

  9. I don't know about MS, but in Washington State all casinos are on land owned by the reservation. This means it is not part of the state of Washington but part of the tribal nation that owns the land. Therefore Washington state law does not apply. Tribal nation law applies.

  10. We hate that Paypal is having this big conniption over the raffles that concerned kitty families are holding to help other needy kitty families (and woofies too!). It's just stupid when all that's going on is friends are trying to help friends the best/easiest way they know how.

    Legalities be damned, sometimes there's a "what's right" issue involved too. And even if they technically have to treat all 'raffles' the same, no matter the reasoning behind it, they also don't *really* have to go after every little thing either.

    We get all hissy just thinking about it.

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew

  11. I just went to paypal's terms and they clearly state that this is a prohibited activity:

    "any other activity with an entry fee and a prize" This would include a raffle.

    We don't have to agree with paypal but every time we try to use them for a raffle we are violating their terms of service. Paypal is a private a business and sets their own rules. They can only get into trouble if these rules violate the rules of the place they do business. I do not know of any state or country that REQUIRES that anyone help people with prize money.

    I think the CB needs to find another processor that will work with raffles. Again, I thought google or MSN was starting some sort of online payment service

  12. I thought I read that google does have an online payment system recently.
    Paypal can be a real pain in the tushie...


  13. We call raffles "opportunities" here in KS. Seems kind of goofy, since they have gambling on the Indian reservations - and like the Bumpass Hounds said also a state lottery! Go figure.
    And GO MERCI!!!
    Tail wags,

  14. This is way to much for us to comprehend...We just like to use little cookies when we play poker..Love A+A

  15. Well. We will raffle when we want. Even when it isn't a raffle. Here we are, come get us. TTHHAAAAPPP


Thanks for coming by for a visit. We love to hear from you.