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Government, How I Hate Thee…Let Me Count the Ways

Some people still don’t understand why I loathe so much about government. So let me give you another example.

Our non-profit organization, Citizen Outreach, has a rifle autographed by rock-and-roll legend Ted Nugent which we want to raffle off as a fundraiser tied to our 2012 Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas this coming June.

No big deal, right? You print up 1,000 tickets, sell ‘em, draw the winning number – complete the government-mandated background check (aargghh)! – and deliver the prize to the winner. What could be complicated about that, right?

Well…here’s what.

Such a simple raffle for a non-profit organization in the state of Nevada is considered a “lottery.” As such, it is controlled and regulated by the Gaming Control Board, whose “permission” we’re required to obtain to raffle off the “Cat Scratch Fever” rifle.

And get a load of the government regulations, fees and red tape your Nevada Legislature has established to “control” such a simple raffle for charitable organizations:

CHARITABLE LOTTERIES

NRS 462.130 Administration of chapter; regulations.
1. The Board and Commission shall administer the provisions of this chapter for the protection of the public and in the public interest in accordance with the policy of this state.
2. The Commission, upon the recommendation of the Board:
(a) May adopt such regulations as it deems desirable to enforce the provisions of this chapter; and
(b) Shall adopt regulations providing a procedure to appeal the denial of the approval of the Executive Director pursuant to NRS 462.150,
Ê pursuant to the procedure set forth in NRS 463.145.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2258)

NRS 462.140 Conditions for operation of charitable lottery. A qualified organization may operate a charitable lottery if:
1. The organization is approved by the Executive Director and the total value of all the prizes offered in charitable lotteries operated by the organization during the same calendar year does not exceed $500,000;
2. The organization registers with the Executive Director and the total value of all the prizes offered in charitable lotteries operated by the organization during the same calendar year does not exceed $25,000; or
3. The total value of the prizes offered in the charitable lottery does not exceed $2,500 and:
(a) The organization operates no more than two charitable lotteries per calendar year; or
(b) The tickets or chances for the charitable lottery are sold only to members of the organization, and to guests of those members while attending a special event sponsored by the organization, and the total value of all the prizes offered in charitable lotteries operated by the organization during the same calendar year does not exceed $15,000.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2258; A 1997, 294)

NRS 462.150 Registration or approval of qualified organization: Conditions; revocation; period of validity.
1. The Executive Director shall:
(a) Register a qualified organization that complies with the requirements of NRS 462.160.
(b) Approve a qualified organization if:
(1) The organization complies with the requirements of NRS 462.160; and
(2) The Executive Director determines that the approval of the organization would not be contrary to the public interest.
(c) Provide a qualified organization, within 30 days after its submission of an application pursuant to NRS 462.160, with written notification of the basis for any refusal by the Executive Director to register or approve the qualified organization pursuant to this section.
2. The registration or approval of a qualified organization is a revocable privilege. No person has any right to be registered or approved by the Executive Director or acquires any vested right upon being registered or approved by the Executive Director.
3. Unless earlier revoked, the registration or approval of a qualified organization is valid for the calendar year and expires on December 31.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2258)

NRS 462.160 Registration or approval of qualified organization: Application; fee; expenditure of application fees.
1. To register with or request the approval of the Executive Director, a qualified organization must submit to the Executive Director:
(a) A written application containing:
(1) The name, address and nature of the organization.
(2) Proof that the organization is a qualified organization.
(3) The names of the officers or principals of the organization, and of any person responsible for the management, administration or supervision of the organization’s charitable lotteries and any activities related to those lotteries.
(4) A description of all the prizes to be offered in charitable lotteries operated by the organization during the calendar year to which the application pertains and, if the approval of the Executive Director is required, a summary of the anticipated expenses of conducting those lotteries, including copies of any proposed agreements between the organization and any suppliers of material for the operation of those lotteries.
(5) A description of the intended use of the net proceeds of charitable lotteries operated by the organization during the calendar year to which the application pertains.
(6) The designation of a primary county in which charitable lotteries will be conducted by the organization during the calendar year to which the application pertains.
(7) Any other information the Executive Director deems appropriate.
(b) A nonrefundable fee of:
(1) For registration, $5; or
(2) For a request for approval, $25.
2. A qualified organization shall submit such additional information as necessary to correct or complete any information submitted pursuant to this section that becomes inaccurate or incomplete. The approval of a qualified organization is suspended during the period that any of the information is inaccurate or incomplete. The Executive Director may reinstate the approval of the organization only after all information has been corrected and completed.
3. The money collected pursuant to this section must be expended to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2259)

NRS 462.170 Registration or approval of qualified organization: Commission may require finding of suitability; costs of investigation; effect of failure to submit application for finding; effect of finding of unsuitability.
1. The Commission may, upon recommendation of the Board, require:
(a) A qualified organization that registers with or requests the approval of the Executive Director to file an application pursuant to chapter 463 of NRS for a finding of suitability to operate a charitable lottery in this state.
(b) Any person who is employed by, a member of or otherwise associated with such an organization to file an application pursuant to chapter 463 of NRS for a finding of suitability to be associated with the operation of a charitable lottery in this state.
2. The Board may conduct an investigation of the qualified organization or associated person and submit recommendations to the Commission. The qualified organization or associated person must deposit with the Board a sum of money which the Board determines will be adequate to pay the anticipated costs of the investigation and shall upon the completion of the investigation pay to the Board any additional money necessary to reimburse the Board for the actual cost of the investigation. The Board shall refund any overpayments.
3. The Commission may revoke the registration or approval of a qualified organization if:
(a) An application for a finding of suitability is not submitted to the Board, together with the deposit required by subsection 2, within 30 days after the qualified organization receives written notice that it is required pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection 1 to file an application for a finding of suitability.
(b) The qualified organization is found unsuitable to operate a charitable lottery in this state.
(c) An application for a finding of suitability is not submitted to the Board, together with the deposit required by subsection 2, or the association of the person with the organization is not terminated, within 30 days after the qualified organization receives written notice that an associated person is required pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 1 to file an application for a finding of suitability.
(d) The associated person is found unsuitable to be associated with the operation of a charitable lottery in this state and the qualified organization does not terminate its association with that person within 30 days after receiving written notice of the finding of unsuitability.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2260)

NRS 462.180 Sale of ticket or chance for charitable lottery prohibited in certain areas; limitation on number of lotteries conducted by approved organization without specific authorization. A qualified organization shall not:
1. Sell any ticket or chance for a charitable lottery outside of:
(a) The primary county in which the charitable lottery is being conducted; and
(b) Any counties that border on the primary county.
2. If the organization has been approved by the Executive Director, conduct more than one charitable lottery in any calendar quarter without the specific authorization of the Executive Director.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2260)

NRS 462.190 Limitations on compensation for prizes and supplies and compensation of persons for services; exceptions. A qualified organization shall not:
1. Compensate any person for the provision of prizes and supplies used in the operation of a charitable lottery, except to pay the fair market value of the prizes and supplies necessary for the operation of the charitable lottery.
2. Provide:
(a) Any compensation to a person who is not a regular employee of the organization; and
(b) Any additional compensation to a person who is a regular employee of the organization,
Ê for his or her services in organizing or operating a charitable lottery or assisting in the organization or operation of a charitable lottery. This subsection does not prohibit a qualified organization from compensating a person for the fair market value of services that are ancillary to the organization or operation of a charitable lottery.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2260)

NRS 462.200 Limitation on expenditure of net proceeds of charitable lottery; annual financial report required.
1. A qualified organization shall expend the net proceeds of a charitable lottery only for the benefit of charitable or nonprofit activities in this state.
2. A qualified organization approved by the Executive Director shall, after the completion of a charitable lottery and no later than the end of the same calendar year, submit to the Executive Director a financial report on the charitable lottery. The financial report must include a statement of:
(a) The expenses incurred in the operation of the charitable lottery; and
(b) The amount and use of the net proceeds of the charitable lottery.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2261)

UNLAWFUL ACTS; PENALTIES

NRS 462.250 Penalty for unauthorized lottery. A person who contrives, prepares, sets up, proposes or draws any lottery, except as authorized pursuant to this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 230: RL § 6495; NCL § 10177]—(NRS A 1991, 2261)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.020)

NRS 462.260 Penalty for unauthorized sale or transfer of lottery ticket. A person who sells, gives or in any manner whatever furnishes or transfers to or for any other person any ticket, chance, share or interest, or any paper, certificate or instrument purporting or understood to be or to represent any ticket, chance, share or interest in or depending upon the event of any lottery, except as authorized pursuant to this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 231; RL § 6496; NCL § 10178]—(NRS A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.030)

NRS 462.270 Applicability of NRS 462.280 and 462.290 regarding regular reporting of information. The provisions of NRS 462.280 and 462.290 do not apply to the regular reporting of information to the public by a newspaper, periodical or press association, or a radio or television station.
(Added to NRS by 1991, 2261)

NRS 462.280 Penalty for assisting in unauthorized lottery. A person who intentionally aids or assists, either by printing, writing, advertising, publishing or otherwise, in setting up, managing or drawing any lottery in violation of this chapter, or in selling or disposing of any ticket, chance or share therein, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 232; RL § 6497; NCL § 10179]—(NRS A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.040)

NRS 462.290 Penalty for opening or maintaining office for sale of tickets for unauthorized lottery; penalty for intentional advertisement of such office. Every person who opens, sets up or keeps by himself or herself or by any other person any office or other place for the sale of or for registering the number of any ticket in any lottery in violation of this chapter, or who by printing, writing or other means intentionally advertises or publishes the setting up, opening or using of any such office, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 233; RL § 6498; NCL § 10180]—(NRS A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.050)

NRS 462.300 Penalty for insuring or guaranteeing lottery tickets. Every person who insures or receives any consideration for insuring for or against the drawing of any ticket in any lottery whatever, whether drawn or to be drawn within this state or not, or who receives any valuable consideration upon any agreement to repay any sum or deliver the same, or any other property, if any lottery ticket or number of any ticket in any lottery shall prove fortunate or unfortunate, or shall be drawn or not be drawn at any particular time or in any particular order, or who promises or agrees to pay any sum of money, or to deliver any goods, things in action or property, or to forbear to do anything for the benefit of any person, with or without consideration, upon any event or contingency dependent upon the drawing of any ticket in any lottery, or who publishes any notice or proposal of any of the purposes aforesaid, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 234; RL § 6499; NCL § 10181]—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.060)

NRS 462.310 Proof of existence of lottery and issuance of ticket. Upon a trial for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, it is not necessary to prove the existence of any lottery in which any lottery ticket purports to have been issued, nor to prove the actual signing of any such ticket or share, or pretended ticket or share of any pretended lottery, nor that any lottery ticket, share or interest was signed or issued by the authority of any manager, or of any person assuming to have authority as manager; but in all cases proof of the sale, furnishing, bartering or procuring of any ticket, share or interest therein, or of any instrument purporting to be a ticket, or part or share of any such ticket, constitutes evidence that such share or interest was signed and issued according to the purport thereof.
(Added to NRS by 1967, 1472; A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.065)

NRS 462.320 Penalty for leasing or allowing use of building or vessel for lottery in violation of chapter. A person who lets or permits to be used any building or vessel, or any portion thereof, knowing that it is to be used for setting up, managing or drawing any lottery in violation of this chapter, or for the purpose of selling or disposing of lottery tickets in violation of this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 236; RL § 6501; NCL § 10183]—(NRS A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.070)

NRS 462.330 Forfeitures of money and certain property.
1. All money and property offered for sale or distribution in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter are forfeited to the State, and may be recovered by information filed or by an action brought by the Attorney General or by any district attorney, in the name of the State.
2. Upon the filing of the information or complaint, the clerk of the court, or if the suit is in a Justice Court, the justice, must issue an attachment against the property mentioned in the complaint or information, which attachment has the same force and effect against such property and is issued in the same manner as attachments from the district courts in civil cases.
[1911 C&P § 235; RL § 6500; NCL § 10182]—(NRS A 1991, 2262)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 462.080)

This is exactly why Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” The above regulations are…intolerable. But we have no choice but to not only tolerate this crap…but comply with it.