Mac Moore
KU Statehouse Wire Service
The Department of Revenue recommended to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs on Thursday that no alterations be made to the 2014 Charitable Gaming Act.
The Charitable Gaming Act regulates charitable raffle and bingo events. The Federal and State Affairs Committee passed the bill after Kansas voters approved a ballot measure in 2014 which legalized charitable raffles for nonprofits.
Patsy Congrove, the revenue department’s charitable gaming administrator, reported that 55 charitable raffle licenses were issued since July 2016, compared to 52 through the same time the previous year. Nonprofits raised more than $2 million from charitable donations through these programs in the past fiscal year.
Congrove said the law was intended to insure honesty and integrity without hindering fundraising efforts.
“Legislators made it very clear they did not want a lot of statutes to hinder the spirit of volunteerism,” Congrove said.
In an effort to limit the level of regulation, the Department of Revenue created a tier system for charitable raffle licensing. Nonprofits with more than $25,000 in gross sales receipts for raffles are required to purchase a raffle license. The lowest price is $25 but increases up to $100 for organizations making more than $100,000 in raffle sales.
The Department of Revenue generated more than $300,000 in licensing fees. Despite the fees, Congrove said the charitable raffle licenses have steadily increased.
“They seem very comfortable with the license fee,” Congrove said. “I think many are somewhat relieved that there is no sales tax on the raffle money.”
Bingo licensing is slightly more complex. Nonprofits are charged $25 for a bingo license but the owner of any facility leased to a bingo event is also required to pay $100 for registration certificate.
Also, the companies selling bingo cards to the nonprofits must pay a one-time $1,000 cash bond, $500 for a year-long certificate as well as a 3 percent enforcement tax on the sale of the cards.
The Department of Revenue is currently working on a single handbook that covers both raffles and bingo. Congrove said the handbook will be consumer-friendly and ready by the end of the calendar year.
Mac Moore is a University of Kansas senior journalism major from Lawrence.