On July 19, 2019, the Governor signed P.A.101-109 enacting significant amendments to the state Raffles and Poker Runs Act that modify, and in some cases relax, requirements for local raffle regulations. Illinois municipalities may want to review their current raffles regulations and consider amendments consistent with the amended Raffles Act.
One of the more significant amendments is that raffle chances can now be sold statewide, which is a substantial change from the previous language that restricted the sale to the locality where licensed.
Another change is to expand the list of eligible organizations to conduct raffles, which now includes:
- bona fide religious, charitable, labor, business, fraternal, educational, or veterans (5-year continuous operation requirement now waivable for certain national or state organizations)
- other bona fide not-for-profit organization (newly eligible, but 5-year requirement not waivable)
- non-profit fundraising organization organized for providing certain financial assistance to identified person or group
- law enforcement agencies and their statewide associations
The Act also makes minor amendments to its list of ineligible persons.
The Act previously required municipalities to establish certain limits on prize values, chance prices, and duration of chance sales. But with the new Act, those limits are optional.
The Act now provides that directors, officers, employees, and members of the sponsoring organization may manage the raffle. Additionally, the sponsoring organization may contract with third parties to provide services in connection with the raffle. The Act now also allows a sponsoring organization to rent a premises for the raffle, subject to restrictions on rent.
Finally, although the Act still requires a bond for the raffle manager, there are relaxed voting requirements for a waiver of the bond.