Violations of raffle laws can result in criminal charges

Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to the law. Unfortunately, many kind-hearted people who organize raffles to help a worthy cause are uninformed of the Montana laws regulating them.

 

 

Fundraiser Raffle

 

Posted Friday, May 30, 2014

By Lori Kesinger

Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to the law. Unfortunately, many kind-hearted people who organize raffles to help a worthy cause are uninformed of the Montana laws regulating them.

A benefit held in Baker earlier this year turned into a caustic event as allegations were made against an organizer. The Montana Gambling Investigation Bureau was alerted to possible violations and an investigation was conducted. The organizer had meticulously kept records and was cleared of the allegations. “

The number one problem for raffle violations is that people are not aware of the restrictions and required record keeping,” said Mike Benson, Investigator for the Montana Gambling Investigation Bureau. “We do try to educate people when we know they are holding raffles. No permits are required for raffles, but they are required for calcuttas, which a lot of people are not aware of, either,” Benson said.

Violations of raffle laws could result in charges under criminal penalty and liabilities of a misdemeanor punishable pursuant to Montana laws.

“Baker is very giving. Keep your paperwork and make sure the money goes to where it was said it was going,” the local organizer said.

For further information on gambling and raffle laws, contact Mike Benson at Montana Gambling Investigation Bureau at 406-377-4634 or go to www.doj.mt.gov and click on the link for the Gambling Control Division.