Gambling activities are a popular way to raise funds for your nonprofit organization. However, under Washington law gambling is illegal unless specifically authorized by statute.
In general, where a charity is holding a public fundraising event, a liquor license is required to sell or serve alcohol. Organizations that have obtained a Special Occasion license may sell spirits, beer, and wine by the individual serving or sell bottles of wine for on premises consumption.
Everyday nonprofits seek to change the world on what often seems to be pennies on the dollar. Nonprofit leaders commonly think of grant money and tax-deductible donations when fundraising, but in many states being a nonprofit allows certain nonprofits to legally conduct gambling activities that would otherwise be criminalized under state law. Inadvertently violating these gambling laws can have steep consequences so if your organization is planning an event that involves some form of gambling, it pays to do it right.