Since the passage of Act 2 of 2012 (Small Games of Chance), many of us have been contacted by the various clubs and organizations in our districts with concerns regarding some of the changes that were made.
Shortly, we plan to introduce legislation that should remedy some of these concerns and help our organizations. We are proposing to:
- Clarify the definition of public interest purpose to make it clear that an entity operating solely in the public interest has the ability to retain the money for their own charitable purposes;
- Add new games such as Chinese auction (selective raffle), quarter auction, Night at the Races, Texas Hold ‘em (defining it in a manner that the game can only have an entrance fee to play and there is no award of money for the play of the game) and vertical wheel (chuck a luck, big wheel);
- Permit Department of Revenue to approve new small games of chance per regulation with statutory guidelines;
- Clarify when proceeds need to be expended for public interest by changing it from same calendar year to 12 months from when the proceeds were received;
- Include that annual report form will be available in paper format and can be filed by mail;
- Clarify that an organization may hold their small games at another organization’s licensed premise and each organization can operate games at the same time (For example, if a VFW wants to operate their games, they can still rent out their banquet room to another organization holding a fundraiser simultaneously);
- Change secretary to treasurer for those who need background checks;
- Eliminate the need for a limited occasion license (see below for new licenses);
- Clarify the license process and requirements based on the amount of proceeds an organization receives from small games of chance. There will be two licenses –
- An organization making less than $40,000 a year in proceeds from games of chance will pay $25 for their license. This license will allow them to operate all the current small games of chance, and also exempt them from annual reporting, background checks and separate bank accounts for their proceeds.
- An organization making more than $40,000 a year in proceeds from games of chance will pay the current license fee of $100 for a license. The license will allow them to operate all the current small games of chance, but will be required to report annually, submit to background checks and keep separate bank accounts for their proceeds.
- Provide that club licensees may retain the first $40,000 in small games of chance proceeds for their own use. Once the $40,000 has been retained by the organization, the current 70/30 split of proceeds between public interest purposes and general operating expenses begins;
- Clarify that Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) does not have enforcement powers over small games of chance violations with organizations that solely have a special occasion permit under the Liquor Code. LCE would retain enforcement power over any Liquor Code violations of these organizations;
-Increasing from $100 to $600, the requirement that an organization must record the name and address of a winner. This will align with the $600 federal requirement for the organization and winner to report to the IRS.
- Change the following regulation record keeping requirements:
-Eliminating the requirement that an organization must obtain receipts for all donated items.
The changes we are proposing are beneficial to all organizations, whether large or small. We greatly value the contributions these organizations make to our communities.
We hope you can join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.