Is It Legal To Start Your Own Lottery?

Whether you are a beginner entrepreneur or a seasoned business person, you might want to open your own lottery business – either online or offline. Although your lottery might not become one of the best lottery sites right away, becoming a lottery owner seems like a sound investment and a great way to turn a profit. Be sure to check out the digital competitor, such as The Lotter and other sites that specialize in online lottery systems.

As the lottery market is continuously growing, there is a lot of money to be made. Thanks to this form of entertainment, many lottery players and owners have already become incredibly rich.

However, you may wonder if starting your lottery is a complicated process. We are here to ensure that it will not be a chore for you. In this article, we tackle the issue of the legality of starting a lottery. Let’s get started.

Legal Implications of Starting a Lottery

Before deciding to start a lottery, you should know its legal implications. Keep in mind that there are two types of lotteries: limited and non-limited ones.

A limited lottery is defined by the state government and is only played by members of the state. On the other hand, non-limited lotteries can be played anywhere in the United States.

If you are planning to start a non-limited lottery, figuring out your business status will be essential. To do so, you should ask yourselves these questions: Has the state already approved your plan? If so, does your plan comply with the law? Have you already acquired a license from this state?

If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, then you don’t need to worry about starting your lottery business. All that’s left for you to do is open your doors and start marketing it.

Nevertheless, if you answered “No” for any one of all these questions, then there is still hope for you. You can request an advisory opinion from the responsible board of authority (e.g., the commissioners of the state or the attorney general). This can help confirm whether or not your plan complies with local or state laws.

This step can help you figure out if starting your own lottery is legal or not. If it is not legal for you to do so, then what other choice do you have but to give up on this idea? Nevertheless, if everything goes as planned, you may proceed with applying for a business license. This will enable you to open a lottery business smoothly without any trouble at all.


In the USA, no one can legally start a lottery without obtaining a license. This means that you cannot simply start a lottery and sell tickets. If you want to do it, you have to obtain a license from the state government. The process of obtaining a state license depends on where your location is. Some states make it easier for you to get the certification, but some states are stricter in this matter.

There is another way of starting the lottery without complying with the requirements for obtaining a license. You can register your business offshore and sell your product inside of your country. However, since we are focused on licensure requirements, we will tackle the first option in this article.

What Is Required to Apply for a License?

There are several important requirements you have to comply with in order to obtain a license:

You have to fill out an application for licensing. Your application has to include details such as name, address, financial history, etc., as well as information about what games you are going to offer and what your marketing strategy is going to be. In some states, lottery owners are required to fulfill certain conditions before they can apply for a license(e.g., becoming a resident of the state that issues the license). Note that your application may be rejected if you do not meet the state’s conditions necessary for licensure or filling rules or if you do not provide ALL required information during the process of applying for licenses. 

You have to provide required documents such as financial statements certified by an accountant or tax returns certified by an attorney (depending on whether you already operate other businesses). Supplemented with these documents is also required: trustworthiness and/or crime history certificates, evidence of employment history, personal references, and any other documents showing your business capabilities. Then they will be evaluated by the relevant authorities responsible for issuing licenses based on what kind of business you want to operate (e.g., bingo license or raffle license). 

Depending on where you intend to operate your business (e.g., online vs. offline), there may be additional documents required (e.g., net worth certificates). You have to pay fees when filling out an application and when receiving permits (if any). The amount varies from one state to another, but about $200-$300 is common. 

You have to submit your request for an official application within 30 days after receiving pre-approval from certain agencies that will grant them (this date will vary by state and by the agency). Make sure you allow sufficient time for each step. In all states, there is an appeal process if your permit was denied or if it was not issued within 30 days after submitting the request for an official application. However, this is not always successful, so plan well ahead of time! 

Final Thoughts

Although some people might think otherwise, starting a lottery is not as hard as some make it out to be. As long as your plan complies with local or state laws, you shouldn’t be facing any problems when opening up a new lottery. 

Remember that even though it is not as hard as you may have thought at the start, starting your own lottery still requires you to put a lot of time and effort into the whole process. However, although it is hard work, the end results will totally be worth it. 

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