Colorado Constitution Article XVIII, Section 2

Section 2. Lotteries prohibited – exceptions.

(1) The general assembly shall have no power to authorize lotteries for any purpose; except that the conducting of such games of chance as provided in subsections (2) to (4) of this section shall be lawful on and after January 1, 1959, and the conducting of state-supervised lotteries pursuant to subsection (7) of this section shall be lawful on and after January 1, 1981.

(2) No game of chance pursuant to this subsection (2) and subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall be conducted by any person, firm, or organization, unless a license as provided for in this subsection (2) has been issued to the firm or organization conducting such games of chance. The secretary of state shall, upon application therefor on such forms as shall be prescribed by the secretary of state and upon the payment of an annual fee as determined by the general assembly, issue a license for the conducting of such games of chance to any bona fide chartered branch or lodge or chapter of a national or state organization or to any bona fide religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, educational, voluntary firemen's or veterans' organization which operates without profit to its members and which has been in existence continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to the making of said application for such license and has had during the entire five-year period a dues-paying membership engaged in carrying out the objects of said corporation or organization, such license to expire at the end of each calendar year in which it was issued.

(3) The license issued by the secretary of state shall authorize and permit the licensee to conduct games of chance, restricted to the selling of rights to participate and the awarding of prizes in the specific kind of game of chance commonly known as bingo or lotto, in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card conforming to numbers or symbols selected at random and in the specific game of chance commonly known as raffles, conducted by the drawing of prizes or by the allotment of prizes by chance.

(4) Such games of chance shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(a) The entire net proceeds of any game shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of organizations permitted to conduct such games.

(b) No person except a bona fide member of any organization may participate in the management or operation of any such game.

(c) No person may receive any remuneration or profit for participating in the management or operation of any such game.

(5) Subsections (2) to (4) of this section are self-enacting, but laws may be enacted supplementary to and in pursuance of, but not contrary to, the provisions thereof.

(6) The enforcement of this section shall be under such official or department of government of the state of Colorado as the general assembly shall provide.

(7) Any provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, the general assembly may establish a state-supervised lottery. Unless otherwise provided by statute, all proceeds from the lottery, after deduction of prizes and expenses, shall be allocated to the conservation trust fund of the state for distribution to municipalities and counties for park, recreation, and open space purposes.


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