Berman Rosenbach, P.C. News & Events

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Selling a home -- raffle

One of our clients, who has had difficulties selling his house, asked us if he could hold a raffle to make the sale. The basic idea is that any interested buyer would purchase a chance to buy the house (at a relatively nominal price), and as long as there were enough participants to raise the amount of money required by the seller, the house would be sold to one of the participants for the price of the raffle ticket. But this concept is complicated, because this idea runs afoul of the New Jersey prohibition against running games of chance. So to avoid the possible result of illegal gambling, the raffle would have to be coupled with some additional factor making the choice of the winner not merely a matter of chance. One factor along these lines could be for each participant to write an essay on "This house should be given to me because _____" and to fill in the reasons. But this very idea was ruled illegal in an unpublished and non-precedential case in the 1980s, and has never been ruled to be legal. There might be ways to make this idea more likely to be upheld (such as by having an independent panel of judges choose the winning essay), but any homeowner interested in this concept must understand that it has been held illegal once, has never been approved, and raises many complicated issues.

Based in Bernardsville, NJ Berman Rosenbach, P.C. serves the surrounding areas including but not limited to; Morris County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Essex County, Union County and all Federal Districts Courts.

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