According to the Attorney Generals Office, Gambling, with only a few exceptions, is illegal in Missouri. To participate in and organize events where prizes, contests, lotteries, raffles, or gambling is involved, one must be well informed of the rules and regulations.
The state of Missouri indicates that A person engages in gambling when he/she pays to play a game of chance or places a wager on a future contingent event not under his control or influence with the understanding that he will receive something of value if he/she wins the game or a certain outcome occurs.
The Missouri Constitution does allow Missouri citizens to participate in otherwise unauthorized games of chance or skill if one of these two rules is followed.
1: Players must not be required to pay a fee of any kind to play the game or to receive a prize. This includes, but is not limited to general entry fees, cover charges, reservation fees, dues, mandatory donations, or registration fees. Suggested donations are okay as long as people can play without donating.
2: If a fee is required to play the game, then no prize of any value may be awarded to any player. This includes but is not limited to ribbons, trophies, tokens, tickets, coupons, points, food, travel, vacation expenses or money.
The Attorney Generals Office states that 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.
Missouri does not allow any organization to organize or participate in raffles unless they are recognized under federal law as a non-profit charitable or religious organization.
You may operate a game of bingo if you follow the rules aforementioned regarding playing games of chance or skill. In other words, you cannot charge money to play AND give away any sort of prize. You may do one or the other, but not both.
In the State of Missouri you may operate a game of bingo where you charge money to play AND give away a prize if you have a bingo license from the State of Missouri. You may apply for a bingo license if you are a non-profit organization that has maintained at least 20 members for the last five years prior to applying for the bingo license. Additional considerations apply.
Gambling and the Student Conduct Code:
8.050.19. Gambling is prohibited at activities or events arranged or sponsored by the University, on University premises, or sponsored by a student organization(s), regardless of location. It is prohibited to:
19.1. Play or sponsor an unlawful game of chance for money or for anything of value (a) on University premises or (b) at a University or student organization sponsored activity or event.
19.2. Sell, barter, or dispose of a ticket, order, or any interest in a scheme of chance by whatever name (a) on University premises or (b) at a University or student organization sponsored activity or event.
19.3. Wager on a University team or organization in a competition, with or without an intent to have a direct influence on the outcome of the competition (a) on University premises or (b) at a University or student organization sponsored activity or event.
Persons or organizations that violate the rules and regulations set forth by the State of Missouri may face penalties of up to 4 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Persons or organizations that violate the Student Conduct Code may face sanctions determined by the Conduct Officer at Truman State University, and/or by the Student Conduct Board.
An organization on campus wants to hold a Poker Tournament. In order for the organization to legally plan and participate in this activity, the organization may ask for a voluntary donation, but may not require money to play. All advertizing and word of mouth publicity must indicate that a donation is strictly optional. If this is done there can be a prize given to the winner. If that is not desirable, the organization may require an entry fee to play as long as no prize (monetary or otherwise) is given to the winner or to any participant. Do not play around with these rules; do not say you will have the donation be voluntary and then change your mind. Doing so will violate law and the conduct code.
An organization on campus wants to hold a raffle to earn money for a non-profit religious group in town. The only way for this to be legal, would be for the religious group to hold the raffle with the student organization aiding in the planning and promotion. The religious group must be recognized under federal law as a non-profit religious organization in the State of Missouri.
An organization on campus wants to have a Bingo night. They can do so as long as they do not charge money to play AND give away any prizes. If they want to be able to do BOTH of those things, the legal way to do this would be to get a bingo license. In order to do this the organization must be non-profit (such as a charitable organization, or religious, service, or veterans group, and they must make sure that the organization has been established for five years prior to the request, and that there have been at least 20 members in that organization for the last five years. The organization would need to contact the State to apply for this license. Additionally, the bingo game must be run by volunteers who are not compensated in any way, and who have been members of the organization for at least two years. The license would need to displayed during all games and be renewed yearly.