Business Registration - Bingo and Raffle

Only a tax exempt charitable or public service organization may be licensed by the Tax Commissioner to conduct bingo games and raffles in West Virginia. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to organizations that have a letter from the Internal Revenue Service determining that it is exempt from federal income tax under IRC §§ 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(8), 501(c)(10), 501(c)(19) or 501(d).

Charitable Bingo License

In order to conduct a charitable bingo occasion, an organization must make an application to the Tax Commissioner on a form BGO-1 at least sixty days prior to conducting an occasion. This requirement may be waived for renewal applications. The types of available licenses include annual, limited occasion and State Fair. Details about the type of information necessary to complete an application are located in the BGO-1 Instructions.

Organizations with an annual bingo license authorized to conduct charitable bingo occasions are required to file quarterly financial reports within 20 days after the end of the calendar quarter and an annual financial report within 30 days after the expiration of their annual license. The Annual report must be filed on a form BGO-3 and contain the accompanying schedule BGO-SCH. Details about the type of information necessary to complete a financial report are located in the BGO-3 Instructions.

Organizations with other types of licenses are required to file a financial report on form BGO-3 with the accompanying schedule BGO-SCH within 30 days after the expiration of their license.

Charitable Raffle License

Similarly, in order to conduct a charitable raffle occasion, an organization must make an application to the Tax Commissioner on a form RAF-1 at least sixty days prior to conducting an occasion. This requirement may be waived for renewal applications. Details about the type of information necessary to complete an application are located in the RAF-1 Instructions.

Organizations with a raffle license authorized to conduct charitable raffle occasions are required to file a financial report within 30 days after the expiration of their license (whether annual or limited occasion). The Annual report must be filed on a form RAF-3 and contain the accompanying schedule RAFFLE-4. Details about the type of information necessary to complete a financial report are located in the RAF-3 Instructions.

All charitable raffle boards and charitable raffle games must be purchased from a distributor who is licensed by the Tax Commissioner to sell charitable raffle boards and games. (see below for information about licensure).

It is important to note that in order to conduct a charitable bingo and a charitable raffle, an organization must attain a license for both activities.

The net proceeds from the conduct of charitable bingo and raffles must be expended by the organization for its exempt purposes or donated to another tax-exempt organization to use for its tax-exempt purposes.

Charitable Raffle Boards and Charitable Raffle Games

Before selling charitable raffle boards and charitable raffle games in the State of West Virginia, a wholesaler or distributor must make an application to the Tax Commissioner on a form RAFBRD-1. All wholesalers and distributors are required to pay a tax of 20% on all sales of raffle boards and games to retailers in West Virginia, and are to be submitted quarterly with the Raffle Boards and Games Quarterly Return (RAFBRD-3).