How is Zeffy free?
How is Zeffy free?
Zeffy relies entirely on optional contributions from donors. At the payment confirmation step - we ask donors to leave an optional contribution to Zeffy.
Learn more >
Charitable Lottery Regulations

Nonprofit raffle laws in Colorado.

September 11, 2023

In the United States, raffles, opportunity drawing and lotteries are governed by the individual states. Each state has its own set of definitions and laws that dictate what is considered a raffle, which organizations are permitted to host a raffle, and what is required to legally host a raffle within the state.

Some states make it a bit more complicated than others, but nonprofit organizations that host ticketing events like raffles often end up hosting more than one raffle per year and some of the biggest campaigns on Zeffy are raffles. AKA raffles raise a lot of money for the nonprofits that host them.

So, yes, the first raffle you host can be a bit time-consuming and confusing, but all the time and energy invested is ultimately worth it. Plus, raffles are a great way to mix up your fundraising campaign portfolio and, as an added bonus, they attract new donors to your nonprofit. And, of course, we’re here to help by walking you through the process of setting up a raffle on Zeffy and we’ve even got a few tips on how to create successful charity raffles and lotteries.

Okay, let’s get started.

Colorado defines a nonprofit raffle as:

… any person risking something of value for the chance to win a prize.

That means that if your nonprofit is hosting any event that includes all three of those elements (1. a person risking something of value, 2. for a chance, 3. to win a prize) you need to follow the following rules and regulations.

Who can host a raffle in Colorado?

First, and most importantly, it is illegal to host a raffle in Colorado without a license. Okay, now that that’s clear, who is allowed to apply for a license?

The only organizations qualified to be licensed to host a raffle in Colorado are a religious, charitable, labour, fraternal, educational, voluntary firemen’s or veterans’ organization that:

Do you need a license to host a raffle in Colorado?

Yes. Colorado requires nonprofit organizations to have a license for every raffle they host.

How does a nonprofit apply for a raffle permit in Colorado?

To apply for a license in Colorado your nonprofit needs to:

1. Complete a license application form. Forms are available on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website or from the Charitable Gaming Section of the Secretary of State’s office.

2. You will need to include the following with your application:

3. You can pay for your license online with debit or credit.

It can take up to six weeks for the state of Colorado to process your application.

How many raffles does a license allow a nonprofit to host?

The state of Colorado does not limit the number of raffles your nonprofit can host while your license is active. But, you do have to file a voided raffle ticket with the Secretary of State prior to each raffle if the total value of prizes is more than $1,000.00. (It can take up to 7 business days for your ticket to be reviewed, so plan ahead!)

Voided tickets can be emailed to [email protected], faxed to 303-869-4871, dropped off at or mailed to:

Colorado Department of StateBingo-Raffles Division1700 Broadway, Suite 550Denver, CO 80290

And, at least 14 days before any ticket sales, your nonprofit will need to submit to the Secretary of State the website where you will post the winning ticket numbers. (Your website must indicate when the winning ticket numbers will be available.)

Does it cost money for a nonprofit to register for a raffle in Connecticut?

Yes. The total fees your nonprofit will pay depend on the total proceeds from your raffle, but the online fee breakdown is (roughly) as follows:

The license application fee is: $100.

A games manager certificate is: $20.

Quarterly administration fees for a raffle license are:

Can you sell raffle tickets online in Colorado using Zeffy’s ticketing forms?

Yes! Bingo-Raffle licensees can sell raffle tickets online. And, that means that you can use Zeffy’s event management and ticketing platform to organize your raffle and sell tickets.

There are a few things to keep in mind when hosting an online raffle in Colorado:

If all that sounds a bit complicated, it is! (But only a bit.) To help, the State of Colorado suggests getting things started by sending them an email ([email protected]) outlining how your raffle will be conducted. From there they’ll help make sure you send them everything they need. We recommend that you reach out sooner rather than later…

Aside from selling raffle tickets online, Zeffy can help your nonprofit:

Track your raffle sales by adding offline ticket purchases to your campaign.

Keep track of who purchased what and their info (such as email addresses and phone numbers) so you can contact the winner(s).

Keep track of how many tickets you have sold, any additional donations, etc.

Automatically create a contact list to send thank-you emails, re-engage with donors and even let donors know when next year’s raffle comes along.

The state of Colorado also allows you to use the internet to:

Good to know:

The state of Colorado requires nonprofits to keep all raffle ticket stubs and unsold tickets for six months following the quarter in which the raffle was held and all other required records for two years. (We go over what records you need to keep a little further on.)

Colorado has a few raffle rules and regulations your nonprofit needs to follow.

What kind of raffle prizes can nonprofits award in Colorado?

The only thing you are not allowed to award as a prize is alcohol.

For more detailed information on offering bigger prizes (such as motor vehicles and real estate) take a look at Rule 8: Raffles of Colorado Secretary of State Bingo and Raffle Games.

What to include on your nonprofit’s raffle tickets:

You must have been granted a license before you can print or sell any raffle tickets.

If your nonprofit is planning to give away under $1000 in prizes, then your tickets must clearly show:

If your nonprofit is planning to give away over $1000 in prizes, then your tickets must clearly show:

We also recommend printing a unique ticket number on each ticket. This will help you avoid misinformation and make sure the winners get their prizes.

A few rules around claiming raffle prizes in Colorado:

If your drawing the winning tickets in person:

If you notify winners by mail:

If you notify winners online:

After your nonprofit’s raffle…

The work doesn’t stop once the winners have been drawn. We know, we know, if only it were that simple. But, governments do love their paperwork and the state of Colorado is no different.

The state of Colorado requires your nonprofit to file quarterly reports with all your receipts, expenses and explanations on how your nonprofit used the funds that were earned from your raffle. You can fill out and file the quarterly reports by mail or online and, because Colorado is pretty great, they also have very clear step-by-step instructions.

Good to know:

Here’s a recap of all the links and documents mentioned in this article:

Bingo and Raffles Games Manager Certificate Application / Oath.

A pamphlet on planning your raffle in Colorado.

Apply to become a games manager online.

Instructions for Non-Profit New License Registration. (PDF)

Application for a Bingo-Raffles License. (PDF)

Online license fee breakdown.

State of Colorado Licensing & Enforcement Division: Quarterly report. (PDF)

Instructions for quarterly report e-filling.

Application to renew a Bingo-Raffle License.

If you need them: charitable lottery licence for other US states.

Nonprofit raffle laws in California.

Nonprofit raffle laws in Connecticut.

Nonprofit raffle laws in Florida.

Nonprofit raffle laws in New York.

Nonprofit raffle laws in Pennsylvania.

Nonprofit raffle laws in Texas.

Nonprofit raffle laws in Washington State.

Keep learning (our sources):

1. To Raffle Or Not To Raffle?

2. Planning a Raffle.

3. Colorado Secretary of State Bingo and Raffle Games [8 CCR 1505-2]

4. Colorado Bingo-Raffle Forms List.