Saturday, May 07, 2005

Raffles now legal

NewsOK reported Raffles are legal now that a state lottery has been created. For decades, raffles have been considered a quick and certain way to raise money for schools, churches and other nonprofits. That changed in 1995, when Attorney General Drew Edmondson issued an opinion equating raffles to lotteries. Although violations were punishable under state gambling laws, no one contacted could recall a single prosecution.

State Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, worked about eight years to make raffles legal. In 2003, he succeeded on legislation that said such events would become legal if voters ever approved a lottery. The new law sat dormant more than a year until voters passed State Question 705, the lottery law. "What that law really does is just make legal what has been going on technically, illegally, for years and years in Oklahoma," Meacham said. The new legislation has a couple of catches: Charities can't hire a contractor to conduct a raffle, and contributions must be voluntary. In other words, a grinch so inclined can obtain a ticket without having to fork over a buck for it.

Tulsa Computer Society is no longer as big as it once was, but I wish this had been the case back when we were large enough to take advantage of it.

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