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State Senate Passes Bills to Improve Small Games of Chance Law
October 28, 2013
The State Senate has approved two bills that would significantly improve Pennsylvania’s Small Games of Chance Law, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25), who strongly supported the measures.
“Small nonprofit organizations are a crucial financial lifeline in communities across the state, providing funding for everything from emergency response, to little leagues and veterans services,” Scarnati said. “We need to make sure these important groups have the ability to raise the money they need without undue restrictions.”
Scarnati said House Bill 290 would allow additional games of chance, including “pools,” “raffle auctions,” and “Race Night games,” and raise prize limits, while also establishing new reporting requirements that should be less stressful and burdensome for community organizations.
Individual prize limits would be increased from $1,000 to $3,000 per chance, weekly prize limits from $25,000 to $35,000, and yearly prize limits from $100,000 to $150,000.
In addition, any organization which has annual small games of chance proceeds of under $40,000 would be exempt from requirements to keep a separate bank account for those funds and file an annual report with the state.
“Many local charitable organizations have expressed to me that changes made last year to reporting and accounting requirements were overly burdensome, which is why I advocated for including these important exemptions in the law,” Scarnati stated. “These key changes will help small nonprofit organizations to be able to focus more on their charitable missions.”
As part of reforms to the Small Games of Chance Act, the Senate also approved House Bill 1098, which would allow professional sports teams in Pennsylvania to run 50/50 drawings to benefit charities at home games. Scarnati said that as a result of these changes sporting teams will be better able to work with nonprofits to raise money through raffles.
Scarnati explained that House Bills 290 and 1098 have been returned to the House of Representatives for their concurrence.
“Charitable groups have a long and significant history of serving and benefiting communities across our Commonwealth,” Scarnati said. “These bills demonstrate our commitment to helping them continue their good work to help better our communities. I urge my colleagues in the House to act quickly on these two important measures.”