State halts house raffle, calling it illegal gambling

Posted: August 07, 2007

Brian and Kelly Jackson said they weren't having much luck selling their $800,000 house in Milford, Pa., home, so they hit on a plan - why not raffle it off? Because that would be illegal, the state replied.

The Jacksons developed a Web site for the home and two other properties, in Quakertown and Lansdale. The site went up July 27 allowing people to buy raffle tickets for the homes, which range in asking price from $265,000 to $800,000. The winner would pay taxes and transfer fees, but the raffle would cover the mortgage payment and also provide $2 from each $100 and $200 ticket to charity.

The state said the site violated the Small Games of Chance Act and constituted illegal gambling. Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's office last week advised Jackson to shut down the site before civil charges were filed. Jackson returned the raffle ticket money but said he might restart the site with the winner being decided by a contest that would not be considered gambling. - AP

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