Assemblyman Robin Schimminger announces final passage of Charitable Gaming Act of 2017 in Assembly

June 22, 2017

ALBANY, NY — New York State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-C-I, Kenmore) announces the Assembly has passed a bill A.6095-A/S.4329-A that would amend state law in relation to the sale of raffle tickets for bona fide charitable organizations. The changes will allow non-profit groups to sell raffle tickets via the Internet and provide for additional payment options for raffles and other fundraising activities.

The Charitable Gaming Act will allow volunteer fire departments, veterans groups and other organizations to promote and sell raffle tickets online in order to reach their fundraising goals and support the community services and programs they provide. Updating the state law is intended to bring fundraising activities for these organizations into the twenty-first century.

“People predominately pay with debit and credit cards, and this will allow them to do that,” said Schimminger. “Additionally, many people use their phones to purchase tickets of various kinds. Changing to a digital friendly format will facilitate a much smoother and easier way for charitable organizations to raise funds for the important causes they support.”

New York State law and regulations are outdated and ultimately impede organizations when it comes to raffles, 50/50 prizes and other games of chance. Under existing law, online sales and debit and credit card payments are prohibited.

Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

“Volunteer fire departments, veterans groups and other charitable organizations have long relied on raffles as a way to support the services and programs they provide in the community,” said Sen. Gallivan. “These changes will allow groups to promote and sell raffle tickets online in order to reach their fundraising goals and enhance their services.”

A similar bill was passed by both houses of the Legislature in 2016 but was subsequently vetoed (Veto 258 of 2017) by the Governor. The current legislation addresses the concerns expressed in the Governor’s veto message and will now go before him for review and final action.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger represents Kenmore, the Tonawandas and portions of Buffalo in the New York State Assembly. To contact Schimminger, call 873-2540; email schimmingerr@nyassembly.gov; or visit www.assembly.state.ny.us/ mem/Robin-Schimminger.