Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ > Charitable Gaming FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions



Am I "gambling" if no money, no gift, or no other consideration is being bet?
Please consult Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915, private legal counsel, and local law enforcement to determine if your proposed activity is authorized by law or prohibited criminal conduct.

Are quarter auctions legal?
In Ohio, quarter auctions are considered schemes of chance (defined in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2915.01(C)), which are illegal (see ORC 2915.02).

Can a minor participate in a charity game of chance, such as entering a charitable Texas hold 'em tournament or winning a raffle at a high school football game?
Provided that the game of chance is lawfully conducted and in compliance with Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 2915, there is nothing in ORC Chapter 2915 explicitly prohibiting a person under 18 years of age from participating in a charity game of chance.

I am not a charity and would like to open a blackjack room. Am I allowed to do this?
Gambling is a regulated activity in Ohio. Please consult Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915, private legal counsel, and local law enforcement to determine if your proposed activity is authorized by law or whether it is prohibited criminal conduct.

Is a person or corporation required to have a license to sell raffle materials?
No, under Ohio Administrative Code Section 109:1-4-07, "bingo supplies" do not include “raffle tickets and devices for selecting raffle tickets if sold or otherwise provided to a charitable organization, a public school, a chartered nonpublic school, a community school, a veteran's organization, a fraternal organization, or a sporting organization.” Therefore, the rules requiring a person to be licensed in order to distribute "bingo supplies" do not apply to these items.

Is the game ‘queen of hearts’ legal?
Queen of hearts is a game known to be played different ways. Whether or not a certain game is legal depends on the specific facts and circumstances. As a general rule, when all proceeds collected in a queen of hearts game are paid out to the pool of all participants in the same game, it may be considered a “pool not conducted for profit,” which is not against the law in Ohio. However, if the operator takes a “cut” or “rake” of the proceeds, or if game proceeds are used to pay winners of other games, then the game may be a scheme of chance, which is illegal under Ohio law.

The Ohio Attorney General published Opinion 2018-012 concerning queen of hearts games on May 11, 2018. For more information, see the statement issued by the Ohio Attorney General concerning this opinion.

My friends and I want to pool together money to bet on basketball tournament brackets or fantasy football leagues. Is this legal?
If 100 percent of the money pooled together is paid out to the winner(s), the pool is a "pool not conducted for profit" as defined in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2915.01(XX), and pools not conducted for profit are specifically exempted from the definition of "scheme of chance" in ORC 2915.01(C). Nothing in ORC Chapter 2915 prohibits a pool not conducted for profit.

What formal opinions has the Ohio Attorney General’s Office published related to charitable law and gaming?
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has issued the following opinions:
  • 2018-012: Queen of hearts
  • 2013-029: Compensation of volunteers at festival, revenue from games of chance to pay rent of facilities, method of calculating amount of rent
  • 2013-027/2013-030: Charitable organization may not operate an automatic, electronic poker table at a festival
  • 2013-012: Sweepstakes promotion by insurance company not an illegal raffle
  • 2008-015: Charitable organization, games of chance, raffles
  • 2006-045: Night at the races
  • 2004-042: Public school raffle tickets, sale or purchase by a person under the age of 18
  • 2004-029: Skill-based amusement device
  • 2004-021: Lottery pooling service

A search feature for Attorney General opinions is available online through the Attorney General’s Opinions Database.

What is a game of chance?
Ohio Revised Code Section 2915.01(D) defines “game of chance” as “poker, craps, roulette, or other game in which a player gives anything of value in the hope of gain, the outcome of which is determined largely by chance, but does not include bingo.”

What is a scheme of chance?
Ohio Revised Code Section 2915.01(C) defines “scheme of chance” as “a slot machine unless authorized under Chapter 3772 of the Revised Code, lottery unless authorized under Chapter 3770 of the Revised Code, numbers game, pool conducted for profit, or other scheme in which a participant gives a valuable consideration for a chance to win a prize, but does not include bingo, a skill-based amusement machine, or a pool not conducted for profit. ‘Scheme of chance’ includes the use of an electronic device to reveal the results of a game entry if valuable consideration is paid, directly or indirectly, for a chance to win a prize.”