As the year comes to an end, nonprofit organizations might consider hosting in person COVID-19 friendly or virtual events to boost year end raising. Many organizations will look to charitable gaming or auctioning liquor or wine to achieve those goals. However, doing so should be done prudently to ensure that an organization is compliant with state and local regulations. A nonexclusive list of dos and don’ts for Ohio and Kentucky nonprofit organization follows:


Do Provide a raffle prize of alcohol; Ohio does not require a liquor license to do so.

Don’t Sale raffle tickets through a third party; the entity hosting the raffle is the only entity permitted to distribute tickets.

Do Maintain records related to funds raised for a period three (3) years at the charity’s principal place of business.

Don’t Compensate any individual assisting with the operation of a raffle or bingo.


Do Apply for a liquor license if auctioning or accepting donated liquor and indicate where donated liquor will be stored during and after the event.

Don’t Apply for a liquor license and hold a virtual event or virtual/in person hybrid event which runs for more than twenty-four (24) hours without including the appropriate run time for the event. Thus, an application should encompass the entire period of the fundraising event.

Do Apply for a Charity Fundraising Event or Special Limited Charity Fundraising Event License and complete a Charitable Organization License Application before hosting raffle or bingo.

Don’t Hold in person raffles or bingos unless specifically allowed by Gov. Beshear’s latest COVID executive orders. After COVID restrictions expire, the following games of chance are acceptable: bingo, pulltabs, and raffles.