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Raffle and Gambling Permits

From:   Joe Leisz, Executive Director

Date:   November 30, 2009

RE:     4-H Raffles, Bingo Nights, Games of Chance and other County and Club Related Gaming Activities

The new IRS 990 form and revisions to the State of Iowa’s rules and regulations regarding “Games of Chance” (including raffles, bingo nights, drawings, game nights and other gaming activities conducted as fundraisers) have raised some questions about how we are working with these activities through the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

Previously, the 4-H Foundation held a central, single, gaming license which could be used by counties with 4-H County Endowments when they were holding raffles, bingo nights, drawings, game nights and other gaming activities conducted as fundraisers to support local 4-H programs.  We asked each county to report after the event with the funds raised and worked centrally to pay all the taxes and fees associated with these activities, debiting and crediting county endowments accordingly.  Alternately, counties and 4-H clubs could apply for their own raffle license through the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals

However, these procedures need to change to bring us into compliance with new tax accounting and reporting requirements, and new state regulations for non-profit gambling activities which can be found online; please reference the following websites for additional information:

We’re still working through the implications of these changes.  Calls have been made to the appropriate people in the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to discuss these changes and we hope to know more definitively what we will need to do – and what we will need your help in doing – in early 2010.  In the meantime, please take the following steps as you plan for year-end and early 2010 fundraising activities that involve raffles, bingo nights, drawings, game nights or other gaming activities:

1)    CALL the 4-H Foundation (515-294-1537) to discuss the event at least one week BEFORE the event happens.  Please speak with either Theresa Samson or Joe Leisz, we will review the specific appropriate reporting requirements needed at that time.

2)    Be prepared to KEEP GOOD RECORDS of the activities conducted (including tickets sold, funds raised, prizes awarded, and to whom the prizes were given).

3)    Be prepared to submit a WRITTEN SUMMARY of the activities within 10 working days (TWO WEEKS) of the end of the activity.  The report may be an e-mail or summary submitted with checks for deposit to your county endowment fund; we will share the best way to submit the report when we visit by phone. (Please be aware that, to the best of our knowledge, we MUST SUBMIT REPORTS by the end of the month – no more than 30 days after an event – in order to avoid fines from the Iowa Department of Revenue).

For additional information on current operating procedures please also refer to the Financial Guidelines for Iowa 4-H Clubs and Groups and the Non-Profit and Tax Exempt Information for 4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations.

Please help by being aware of county and club activities that deal with “Games of Chance” (including raffles, bingo nights, drawings, game nights and other gaming activities conducted as fundraisers) so we can do things correctly and protect the clover in all of our activities. 

If you have conducted a “Game of Chance” (including raffles, bingo nights, drawings, game nights or other gaming activity) in the last three months, or know of a 4-H Club or other entity that has done so, please notify us immediately (whether or not you used a license).  There are state reports which must be filed.  Counties, clubs and the Iowa 4-H Foundation can be held liable by the State of Iowa if we do not follow the proper procedures.