Friday, June 6, 2008

House Raffle Called Off

On May 1-2 I wrote about the planned raffle of a Wonder Lake house, after a Realtor/speculator and her husband began selling $100 raffle tickets. My "nose for what's wrong" quickly went into overtime. The real estate company said it didn't see any problem, because the Realtor's attorney okayed the deal.

It's a different story now. I guess if you ignore (or don't investigate fully enough to find it) and try to rely only on a local law, then it's okay. The reader comments to the May 21 Northwest Herald article were certainly interesting (search for Kozicki on Many of those comments seem to reflect that it's okay to break the law, if it helps someone (or more than one person).

The State's Attorney got involved and made his point. And the raffle was called off.

It never should have started in the first place. Had the Realtor gotten good legal advice, she would have known from the get-go that the raffle was illegal.

It didn't help when I called the Secretary of State's office and a clerk in the charitable division told me that Illinois did not regulate raffles, only lotteries and bingo. It is inexcusable that an employee in the specific State office that does regulate raffles didn't know the correct answer to my question.

Creativity in business is not to be stifled. Thinking outside-the-box is good. But it has got to be legal!


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