Tuesday, 06 June 2023

Charity raffle bill clears committee

SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, advanced that would allow the continuation of 50-50 raffles at major league sports stadiums – an important fundraising tool for nonprofits.

“Charitable raffles provide an important funding stream for a host of organizations benefiting youth and the underserved,” Sen. Dodd said. “Over the years, these raffles have raised millions for a diverse group of charitable organizations throughout the state.”

In California, a key fundraiser for nonprofits has been the 50-50 raffle, in which 50% of the proceeds go to a winner and 50% go back to the hosting organization.

For instance, since the creation of 50-50 raffles, the San Francisco Giants Community Fund has been able to serve over 150,000 youths with 30,000 kids benefiting annually.

However, the law allowing these raffles is about to expire.

Senate Bill 650 removes the Jan. 1, 2024 sunset so professional sports teams and sports organizations can continue to provide millions of dollars in charitable funding to worthy philanthropic organizations.

SB 650 is supported by numerous organizations, including professional sports teams such as the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. It passed the Senate Governmental Organizational committee Tuesday with unanimous support.

“The 50 50 raffle has allowed us to expand the reach of our program,” Amy Tovar, general counsel for the Giants, testified before the committee. “This has been a complete game-changer for the Giants community.”

Dodd represents the Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties.

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