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50-50 Raffles Are Legal In Pa. After Overhaul Of ‘Games Of Chance’ Law

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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Next time you go to a Flyers game and are approached by someone offering you a chance to buy a 50-50 raffle ticket for charity – yes, it is legal, thanks to the provisions of a new state law.

In the last session of the Pennsylvania legislature, lawmakers approved an overhaul of the state’s small games of chance law. Erik Arneson – spokesman for the Senate majority leader – says one change allows professional sports teams to conduct charity raffles.

“The team is not allowed to get any profit from it. 50-percent goes to the winner or winners, and the other 50-percent has to go to non-profit, charitable causes. This is something that is done in other states. We were approached by a number of the professional franchises here in Pennsylvania who wanted to do similar things here.”

Lawmakers are expected to revisit the small games law again because of concerns about the new reporting requirements for organizations that run them, but Arneson says he expects the new sports raffle provision will remain.