HARRISBURG – Recognizing the fundraising challenges fire and ambulance companies, as well as other nonprofit organizations, have faced due to COVID-19, the state House has approved legislation to expand online fundraising options, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).
House Bill 290
would authorize organizations that hold Small Games of Chance (SGOC) licenses to conduct certain raffles and drawings online through the pandemic and its immediate aftermath.
“Not being able to host in-person fundraising events hit our first responder organizations very hard at a time when the demand for their services, and the cost of delivering those services, was going up,” Causer said. “Even with additional grants from the state, our fire and ambulance companies are struggling financially, and it’s important that we give them other options to raise funds.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who devote so much of their time to protecting public safety in our communities,” he added.
In addition to fire and ambulance companies, the bill would also benefit veterans groups and other social organizations that support initiatives such as Scouting, youth sports and scholarships.
House Bill 290 would specifically permit SGOC licensees to conduct online raffles and drawings, and use a mobile payment service (such as PayPal or Venmo) for payment. Credit cards would not be permitted. Participants would have to be verified as residing within the Commonwealth and be at least 18 years of age. The bill also was amended to increase individual prize limits to $4,000 and weekly prize limits to $50,000 to further aid fundraising efforts.
The changes would expire with the expiration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency or May 1, 2022, whichever is later.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Martin T. Causer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler