Casino Night, Free Drawings & Gambling Policies

Casino Night Policy

Campus organizations may request, through the Office of Student Life, to sponsor a free Las Vegas or Casino Night on the campus. An organization member must meet with a representative of the Office of Student Life well in advance (6 weeks) of the event to review the legal and procedural restrictions on such events. Representatives from the following areas will be in attendance during this initial Event Planning Meeting: sponsoring group(s) representative and advisor, Office of Student Life, Student Union, University Police, and Food Services, if applicable. During the initial Event Planning Meeting, decisions will be made regarding the logistics for the event. No publicity may be posted for or contracts entered into without prior event authorization from the Office of Student Life. Sponsoring organizations should plan to attend 3-4 Event Planning Meetings with a representative of the Office of Student Life. An individual organization may sponsor only two (2) free Casino Nights per academic year.

The sponsoring organization must comply with all provisions of Campus Policies and State and Federal Laws concerning casino parties; in particular, information detailed in Sections 330 through 337(s) of the California Penal Code which pertains to Gaming. No person under the age of 18 is permitted. The event must be open to all members of the campus community, except those under the age of 18. There can be no entrance or advance registration fee. Scrip or chips must be used for play; no money can be used. Scrip must be distributed free with no connection to any voluntary donation.

All volunteers must wear identification chest-high throughout the event.

Free Drawings Policy

"Raffle or Lottery" vs. "Drawing"

In the State of California, raffles and lotteries are illegal if a person is required to purchase a ticket or make a donation in order to be eligible to win the contest. Use of the term "raffle" is acceptable when tickets are randomly distributed and there is no financial donation connected with the allocation of tickets. For events such as a Casino Night, the term "drawing" must be used instead of the term "raffle".


Prizes must be awarded through a drawing of tickets given to game winners. Prizes may be goods or services. Prizes consisting of alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Prizes may be donated to or purchased by the sponsoring organization. The name of the merchant or brand name of any prize may be mentioned in drawing publicity on campus. The drawing cannot be referred to as a raffle or chance, as that would be considered gambling. All prizes must be awarded even if donations are insufficient to cover costs.


All advertising must indicate that no purchase or donation is required to participate and that the drawing is open to the campus community.

Prior to advertising for a free drawing, a member from the sponsoring organization must schedule an Event Planning Meeting with a representative of the Office of Student Life to discuss the procedures for handling such an activity. Organizations must scrupulously abide by these and the state's regulations. Failure to comply will result in termination of the drawing, possible campus sanctions, and/or criminal prosecution.


Tickets for the drawing must indicate the following:

  1. Date, time, and location of the drawing
  2. Name of sponsors and benefactors of the fundraiser
  3. Amount of the suggested donation, including the word "donation"
  4. "Donation or purchase of tickets not required to be eligible to win"
  5. Major prizes offered
  6. "Winner need not be present at drawing" (not required, but advised)

Free tickets, a minimum of one per person, must be available. Each solicitor must know that free tickets can be obtained. The word "drawing" or "free drawing" is required; do not use the word "raffle" on the ticket or in advertisements.

Gambling Policy

On state property, the California Penal Code forbids the dealing, playing, conducting, betting on, and providing facilities for games involving cards, dice, and other devices for money, checks, credit or other representation of value. Similarly, the Code forbids for-profit lotteries, raffles, drawings, and gift enterprises which are schemes to dispose of or distribute property by chance among persons who have paid valuable consideration. It is a misdemeanor not only to sell lottery tickets but also to print, advertise, publish, manage, draw, or provide offices for lotteries.

Gambling of any kind is prohibited on the CSUDH campus. The sale of California and other lottery tickets is strictly prohibited. Hosting a Casino Night on campus is permissible under guidelines outlined in the Casino Night Policy (above). Off-campus groups and organizations contracting with the university for use of facilities are also subject to these regulations.

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