AUGUSTA – A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, of Allagash, to allow charities to hold online raffles earn unanimous, bipartisan support in the Legislature’s Veteran and Legal Affairs Committee on Friday. The vote was 10-0, with three members absent.
LD 671, “An Act To Allow the Sale of Raffle Tickets Online” would enable Maine residents over the age of 18 to purchase online raffle tickets.
“Charitable organizations, snowmobile clubs, fire departments, and more all depend on in-person gatherings and fundraisers to stay afloat and continue serving our communities. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the ability of non-profits and other small organizations to fundraise through the cancellation of in-person gatherings and events,” said President Jackson. “The least we can do is make it easier for organizations in our communities to fundraise by allowing the buying and selling of raffle tickets online. It’s a commonsense change that will help nonprofit organizations get back on their feet as we emerge from this pandemic.”
President Jackson introduced this legislation after the cancelation of a number of in-person fundraising events in Aroostook County. Current Maine law requires the sale of raffle tickets be in-person to prevent the sale of raffle tickets to minors or individuals out-of-state. The proposal was amended in committee to facilitate the online sale of raffle tickets to eligible Maine residents.
“With many nonprofit organizations having to adapt or find creative ways to raise funds in place of in-person events, I’m glad our committee could come up with a measured solution that expands fundraising options,” said Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, Chair of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.
LD 671 will now go before the full Legislature for consideration.