Illegal To Raffle Off Home
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM #LAW 743
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: A ThinkGlink reader is thinking of
raffling off his home. Ilyce and Sam explain how to research this alternative
but warn the reader that it is most likely illegal.
Q: Is it legal to raffle off my home in Massachusetts? I want to sell tickets
for a set price. A lawyer will be involved to hold money and make sure all outstanding
claims against the home get paid.
(article continues below useful links)
A ticket will be drawn on a certain day and that person would be the winner
of the home. Is this legal?
A: In some states, lotteries of your type are legal, but may be regulated.
If you plan to have people who live in other states participate in your lottery,
you may have to comply with the lottery rules in each of those states.
Some states may require you to submit your advertising materials and other
information relating to your lottery for approval by the appropriate governmental
Other states will specifically restrict any game of chance in which you have
to pay to participate. Some of these games of chance are permitted for charitable
purposes, but when it comes time to have a lottery, raffle or other game of
chance in which a person has to pay to play, it may be prohibited or highly
For more information on your specific state, you should contact the gaming
commission board in the state in which you are located.
You can also look up the laws of Massachusetts at http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/index.htm.
From a quick reading of the legislation, it appears that a lottery of the type
you are contemplating is considered gambling and probably illegal.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce
R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your
Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for
them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022
or contact them through Ilyce’s website www.thinkglink.com