If reforms are not made, Pennsylvania’s current Small Games Law will lead to some volunteer organizations having to close their doors, according to State Senator Richard Kasunic (D-Fayette County).
Kasunic has proposed legislation he thinks will make it easier for non-profits to raise money.
Kasunic said, soon after the Legislature passed the current law, organizations began to complain about the reporting problems it created.
The Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act currently allows eligible non-profits to conduct certain types of gambling. These include punchboards, pull-tabs, raffles, and daily and weekly drawings.
The organizations had until February 1 of 2013 to file their reports, but under pressure, the Department of Revenue has delayed the deadline by 12 months.
That delay gives more time to pass reform legislation. Kasunic said he wants to ease the burden on volunteer organizations.
“These are volunteers is what we got to understand. These are people who volunteer their time and take time away from their families and their activities to help their communities out,” said Kasunic. “And I think we owe it to them to go back and make these corrections.”
Proposed changes to the current law include:
- Limiting reporting requirements to small volunteer organization raising less than $100 thousand per year. The current limit is $2,500.
- Allowing organizations to sell raffle tickets across county lines. Non-profits are currently required to notify the district attorney in the county they plan to sell tickets.
- Allowing non-members to sell a non-profit’s raffle tickets.
- Allowing organizations to hold joint raffles.
- Permitting non-profits to keep 50 percent of the money they raise for expenses. Only 30 percent of organizations’ profits can currently go to upkeep.
Kasunic said, without intervention, many non-profits might be closing, including volunteer fire departments.
“They save us, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year providing services to our communities,” said Kasunic. “It would be very devastating to any community to have one of these organizations have to close their doors.