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Bill to legalize charity raffles in Utah advances after word change

They're now 'drawings'
Alyson Hurt raffle tickets.jpg
Posted at 6:41 AM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 08:41:15-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to legalize charity raffles advanced out of a Senate committee after lawmakers changed it from "raffle" to "drawing."

Senate Bill 242, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, got the word change in order to advance out of the Senate Business and Labor Committee on Friday. Under Utah's constitution, gambling is prohibited.

While technically illegal, charities and schools have long done them as "opportunity drawings," relying on an old legal opinion. Sen. McCay's bill seeks to permanently allow it. At least 90% of its proceeds must go to a charity.

The committee tweaked the word from "raffle" to "drawing" to avoid anything that would inadvertently legalize gambling in Utah. Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, introduced an amendment to include a prohibition of "fringe gambling" devices. The committee approved it.

SB242 now goes to the Utah State Senate for consideration.