Gambling, lotteries, raffles
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Legal games in Missouri
In 1984 Missouri voters passed a constitutional amendment giving the legislature authority to establish a state lottery. The legislature created the Missouri State Lottery Commission, under the Department of Revenue, and authorized the commission to set up the state lottery.
In 1992 Missouri voters passed a constitutional amendment legalizing gambling casinos on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The legislature created the Missouri Gaming Commission, under the Department of Public Safety, to license and regulate casinos in the state.
Under provisions of the bingo law (Chapter 313, RSMo), a bingo game may be operated by a nonprofit organization (such as a charitable organization or religious, service or veterans group) or a fraternal organization that has maintained a membership of at least 20 for five years prior to applying for a bingo license.
There are several restrictions for bingo game operations. Among them:
- A member of a group cannot receive game proceeds or use any proceeds to pay game workers;
- All workers must be volunteers and members of the group for at least two years;
- The bingo license must be displayed during all games; and
- The group must renew its license yearly.
A raffle is a game in which a participant buys a ticket for a chance at a prize, with the winner determined by a random drawing to take place at a location and date printed on the ticket.
Raffles and sweepstakes are popular money-making efforts. Missouri law is clear, however, concerning which groups may legally sponsor these promotions.
In 1998 Missouri voters adopted a constitutional amendment allowing raffles and sweepstakes to be sponsored by groups recognized under federal law as charitable or religious.
Games of skill, no-purchase-necessary games
Missourians may legally participate in games or contests of skill or chance where no consideration is required to be eligible for a prize. Many fast-food restaurants offer no-purchase-necessary games in which consumers can obtain free tickets without a purchase.
Missouri residents may participate in contests or buy lottery tickets in other states if the tickets are not bought in Missouri.
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