Pa. considers changing the rules on charitable games of chance

    Raffles and bingo games at non-profit groups may be able to pay out larger prize amounts under a proposal in the Pennsylvania State House proposal.

    In the halls and lounges of local civic groups statewide, there’s a limit on how much prize money can leave in the form of winning tickets and lucky numbers.

    The House has passed a bill that would raise that ceiling and allow groups such as Veterans of Foreign Wars posts to keep up to 30 percent of the profits for their own operating expenses.

    Dick Getz, the treasurer of his VFW Post in Lancaster County, said the group is not allowed to keep any of the profits from gambling right now.

    “It goes to the schools, uh, for sports, it goes to little league, it goes to the police department, it goes to the ambulance, goes to the fire department,” Getz said. “We support four fire departments out of our post.”

    Getz said having room to pay out bigger prizes means more people will come in to try their hand at a game that’s more worth their while.

    That will mean more money for the community, at a time when government funding is drying up, said bill sponsor Rep. Sheryl Delozier, a Cumberland County Republican.

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