Gambling Policy

In compliance with New York State Penal Law § 225.05 and additional federal regulations, gambling is illegal and not permitted at the University of Rochester or among its student organizations. A person “gambles” when they risk “something of value” on the outcome of a “contest of chance” with the hope of receiving “something of value” if they win. The following guidelines ensure compliance with these regulations:

  • Students or organizations cannot bet on, wager on, or sell pools for any athletic event.

  • There cannot be an admission fee or ticket when games of chance are involved.

  • Neither the University nor an organization sponsoring a poker tournament, casino night, or similar event can receive proceeds from that event.

  • A student organization hosting a poker tournament, casino night, or similar event can only hold one such event per semester. These events cannot be held where alcohol is served.

  • Raffles are not permitted. Door prizes may be offered wherein all attendees have an equal chance to participate and no entry/participant fee is charged.


Poker is considered a “contest of chance” in New York State. Therefore, the University of Rochester cannot knowingly allow any student organizations to gamble – meaning risk something of value, such as money – on poker games using University of Rochester property or resources. Student organizations may play poker, however gambling on poker is not permitted. For example, the cards club may host poker games using chips that are distributed free of charge and may not be exchanged for anything of value.

Poker tournaments are permissible if no gambling is allowed, but please keep in mind that:

  • The event should be free of charge. Accepting an admission fee for the chance to receive something of value at the end (particularly a share of a “pot”) is impermissible gambling.
  • Under no circumstances can a participant win a “pot” or any other form of prize money as a result of their participation in a poker. No money can change hands.
  • There should be no advertising to the general public. UR community only.


  • No entry fee can be charged for the event
  • Students or organizations cannot charge for Bingo boards