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Failure to award raffle prize?

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February 11, 2008, 22:44
Trey Hill
Failure to award raffle prize?
Cops e-mailed me about a complaint they got from a citizen, who bought a raffle ticket, was told she'd won the pair of boots & was then asked to pay the $99 sales tax before receiving the boots. She wrote a check, which was cashed & she never got the boots. I can't seem to find any stautes relating to criminal offense for failing to award a raffle prize. (I looked at Occupations Code 2002). Is it just plain old theft?

Texaner dritter Generation deutscher Abstammung
February 11, 2008, 23:25
Maybe PC sec. 32.42 "Deceptive Business Practices." Could a raffle be considered a "sales contest" as defined in 32.42(a)(8)?
February 13, 2008, 09:30
Scott Brumley
The organization conducting the raffle must award prizes on the date for award of prizes unless it becomes "unable" to do so. Occ. Code sec. 2002.052(d). In that event, the organization has 30 days to award the prize (subsection (e)) or refund or offer to refund the amount paid for the raffle ticket (subsection (f)). Should the organization fail to comply with those requirements, it would appear to me that the raffle would violate chapter 2002. Thus, it would lose the protection of Pen. Code sec. 47.01(a)(1)(B). Losing that protection would mean the scheme is a straightforward lottery, in which case prosecution under sec. 47.03(a)(5) or sec. 47.04 (since a "gambling place" includes property one of the uses of which is to conduct a lottery per sec. 47.01(3)) would appear to be available. Few legitimate charitable organizations would want to incur the stigma of prosecution for running an unlawful raffle. On the other hand, perhaps this is not a legitimate organization, and they couldn't care less whether the cost of doing business includes dealing with a nuisance misdemeanor.
February 13, 2008, 10:07
Those must be fancy boots with $99 in sales tax.
February 14, 2008, 07:08
Originally posted by AlexLayman:
Those must be fancy boots with $99 in sales tax.

Exactly my thoughts!

They would have to cost about $1,500 retail.