OLR Bill Analysis

SB 417 (File 43, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT ELIMINATING THE LIMIT ON TEACUP RAFFLE PRIZES.

SUMMARY:

This bill eliminates the $ 250 prize limit on teacup raffles, thereby allowing prizes of unlimited value. By law, qualified organizations conducting bazaars may operate teacup raffles and award prizes consisting of gift certificates or merchandise.

The bill also authorizes golf ball drop raffles and allows organizations conducting them to award cash and other prizes. Existing law, with some exceptions, bars cash prizes for bazaars and raffles. The bill requires the Division of Special Revenue (DSR) executive director, with the Gaming Policy Board's advice and consent, to establish procedures for operating golf ball drop raffles.

*Senate Amendment “A” authorizes golf ball drop raffles.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

GOLF BALL DROP RAFFLES

The bill allows any qualified organization with a class No. 6 permit to operate a golf ball drop raffle once each calendar year (see BACKGROUND). The raffle must conform to the provisions governing existing raffles. It allows the organization to award cash prizes in addition to those authorized under existing law for bazaars and raffles (see BACKGROUND).

The bill requires an organization conducting a golf ball drop raffle to deposit all the raffle proceeds in a special checking account it establishes and maintains. The account is subject to DSR audit. The organization must pay expenses incidental to the conduct of the raffle from gross receipts on checks drawn on the account. It must pay all cash prizes from the account.

The bill defines “golf ball drop raffle” as a raffle in which golf balls, numbered consecutively to correspond with the number of raffle tickets sold, are dropped from a helicopter, hot air balloon, or other aircraft hovering above a designated target. The winning ticket is the one that corresponds to the number of the first golf ball that lands closest to the center of the designated target.

BACKGROUND

Organizations Qualified to Conduct Bazaars and Raffles

The law allows the following to conduct, operate, or sponsor bazaars or raffles if the town where they are located has adopted the Bazaar and Raffle Act: veterans,' religious, civic, fraternal, educational, and charitable organizations; volunteer fire companies; and political parties and their town committees. Raffles may also be promoted and conducted if sponsored by towns acting through a designated centennial, bicentennial, or other centennial celebration committee. To conduct a bazaar or raffle, an organization must have a local permit.

Only the sponsoring organization's qualified members age 18 or older may promote, operate, or work at bazaars and raffles. And people under age 16 may not sell or promote raffle tickets.

Teacup Raffles

An organization conducting teacup raffles must comply with DSR regulations. Among other things, it must conduct the raffle from an authorized booth and may conduct only one drawing for all prizes offered on any day a bazaar is permitted.

The law defines a “teacup raffle” as a raffle offering multiple merchandise through drawings from separate containers designated for each prize offered.

Raffle Permits

DSR issues seven types or bazaar and raffle permits. Class No. 6 permits allow the operation of a raffle that must be conducted within one year of the date the permit is granted. The maximum aggregate value of prizes that an organization may award under this permit is $ 100,000.

RAFFLE PRIZES

The law, with some exceptions, prohibits cash prizes or prizes that are redeemable for cash. It allows merchandise; tangible personal property; lottery tickets; or a ticket, coupon, or gift certificate, entitling the winner to merchandise, tangible personal property, services, or transportation to any tour facilities provided in connection therewith.

RELATED BILLS

Senate Bill 1059 (File 738) eliminates DSR and transfers its responsibilities to the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). It also moves the Gaming Policy Board to DCP from the Department of Revenue Services (DRS).

House Bill 6650, which passed both the House and Senate, eliminates DSR and transfers its responsibilities to DCP, its successor agency. It also moves the Gaming Policy Board from DSR to DCP.

Senate Bill 35 (File 56) eliminates the advertising restrictions on bazaars or raffles, thereby allowing qualified organizations conducting such gaming to advertise on radio, television, billboards, and elsewhere they choose.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

21

Nay

0

(02/22/2011)

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

46

Nay

3

(04/18/2011)