For years, raffles have been a tried and true fundraiser for many nonprofit organizations throughout Oklahoma. However, under current law, its illegal. But that could be changing now that the State Senate has given final approval to SB 3.
The bill, which was written by Senator Frank Shurden, DHenryetta, and coauthored by Senator Johnnie Crutchfield, DArdmore, and Representative Don Armes, RFaxon, would make charitable raffles legal in Oklahoma.
There are a lot of churches, schools and other organizations that stopped holding raffles after the Attorney General ruled they were illegal. Some didnt even know it was illegal and kept on doing it anyway, explained Senator Shurden. They shouldnt have to risk prosecution just to raise money for a worthwhile cause. This bill would clear the way for those groups to continue using raffles as a fundraiser.
However, Senator Shurden said the measure was amended in the House to postpone legalization of charitable raffles until a statewide lottery is approved by voters. The House amendments also mandate that if the courts rule that a lottery or the charitable raffles opened the door to Class Three gaming, the raffles would have to end. The lottery bill already approved by the legislature has a similar provision.
The measure now goes to Governor Brad Henry for his approval.