Charitable Gaming Act Signed Into Law

Patrick M. Gallivan

December 20, 2017

Law Amends Rules for Charitable Organizations

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-C-I, Kenmore) announce the governor has signed legislation (S.4329/A6095) to 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.

"Under the Charitable Gaming Act, volunteer fire departments, veterans groups and other organizations will be allowed to promote and sell raffle tickets online in order to reach their fundraising goals and provide vital community services and programs,” Gallivan said.  “Updating the state law to allow organizations to also accept debit and credit cards as payment will bring fundraising activities into the twenty-first century.”

“Nowadays folks predominately make purchases with debit and credit cards; this new law will allow them to do that,” said Schimminger. “Additionally, many people use their smart phones or tablet devices to purchase tickets of various kinds. Allowing for organizations to change 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.”

Senator Gallivan sponsored the bill in the Senate and Assemblyman Schimminger introduced the legislation in the Assembly after learning that outdated regulations limited organizations when it came to raffles, 50/50 prizes and other games of chance.  Under existing rules, online sales and debit and credit card payments are prohibited.

Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law as Chapter 464 of the Laws of 2017.