Senate approves Fortunato bill to protect charity fundraisers

The Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would allow non-profit organizations to raise money through raffles while being in compliance in state law.

“I know a lot of churches that raise money through bingo nights or raffles,” said Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn. “However, many are unknowingly violating state law.”

Senate Bill 5671 would simply remove membership requirements non-profit groups must have to conduct activities such as raffles and bingo games, which are defined as gambling by state law. The bill would also increase the number of annual raffle fundraisers a group is allowed to conduct.

Fortunato added, “Many of these non-profits are local social organizations, and raffles are a fun way to raise money for the organizations to do their great work in our community. The least we can do is allow them to raise money without breaking the law.”