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Legislature Considers Bill That Legalizes Charitable Drawings

With more than 100 nonprofit organizations in Park City, odds are some of them have raised money through a raffle or drawing. But in doing so, they’ve technically been skirting the law.

Republican Sen. Dan McCay’s Senate Bill 242, Charitable Drawing Amendments, clarifies that drawings for charitable fundraising purposes are not prohibited by the state’s gambling restrictions.

“These charities are left in a very bad position, where they’re charitable and breaking the law," McCay said. "Reminds me of a famous person that lived about 2,020 years ago. Very charitable, but also broke the law.”

The bill originally referred to “raffles,” but former state Rep. Curt Oda suggested amending the language to “drawings,” as raffles might connotate something closer to gambling or a lottery.

The bill was also amended to clarify that a charitable drawing does not include the use of a gambling device. Democratic Sen. Karen Mayne made the amendment to align with a bill she’s sponsoring, SB 214, which prohibits “fringe gaming machines.” A fringe gaming machine is like a slot machine, and Utah towns have noticed them popping up in convenience stores and other retailers.

After passing the full Senate on Monday, SB 242 will next be considered by the House.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.