Relates to restrictions upon the conduct of games of chance.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Storobin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Duane
Excused (3): Espaillat, Huntley, Krueger
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to restrictions upon games of chance
PURPOSE OF THE BILL: Technical amendments to permit authorized organizations that operate without profit to its members to increase their revenues by increasing the total aggregate value of prizes awarded by raffle that such authorized organizations may award.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: These technical amendments would permit authorized organizations to increase their revenues by increasing the total aggregate value of prizes awarded by raffle, under the current statutory limits to two million dollars.
JUSTIFICATION: The Buffalo Sabres Foundation (an authorized organization) currently conducts 50/50 split club raffles at each Buffalo Sabres home game. The proceeds from each raffle help offset the cost of operating the Buffalo Junior Sabres, a scholarship program for Western New York area high school students as well as donations to entities such as Roswell Park Cancer Research Institute and St. Mary's Hospital.
Started in 2007, the raffles have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Foundation, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in winning prize money. The success of these raffles has generated interest from other New York based sports franchises, such as the New York Islanders and Buffalo Bills who are interested in running similar raffles. The Foundation's raffles continue to grow in popularity and as such they are currently exceeding the aggregate statutory limits currently set forth.
In 2010 this section of the General Municipal Law was amended increasing the aggregate value from $100,000 to $500,000. Within as little as two years the Foundation has once again pushed up against the statutory limits on aggregate prize awards. Additionally, the Racing and Wagering Board has recently approved the use of automated devices for selling raffle tickets. This will permit the Foundation to sell more tickets over a longer period of time at each game. Estimates are that overall sales will likely increase by 20%. Given these numbers it is clear that the Sabres Foundation and other potential charitable organizations in New York State need the $500,000 prize threshold to be increased to two million dollars.
Throughout the course of the NHL hockey season the Sabres Foundation has opportunities (New Year's Eve, Playoff Games, Special Anniversary dates, etc.) to offer guaranteed minimum raffle prizes. On more than one occasion the raffle prize has pushed up against the $50,000 limit that
currently exists. To take advantage of those opportunities the $50,000 limit on a single prize should be increased to $100,000.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: An increase in aggregate prize money awarded will result in additional revenues to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, as well as additional taxable revenue from the prize winners.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This amendment would provide additional monies to charitable institutions located throughout the Western New York region.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7506 IN SENATE May 30, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager- ing AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to restrictions upon games of chance THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 5 and 8 of section 189 of the general munici- pal law, subdivision 5 as amended by chapter 337 of the laws of 1998 and subdivision 8 as amended by chapter 302 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows: 5. No single prize awarded by games of chance other than raffle shall exceed the sum or value of three hundred dollars, except that for merchandise wheels, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of two hundred fifty dollars. No single prize awarded by raffle shall exceed the sum or value of
[fifty]ONE HUNDRED thousand dollars [, except that an authorized organization may award by raffle a single prize having a value of up to and including one hundred thousand dollars if its appli- cation for a license filed pursuant to section one hundred ninety of this article includes a statement of its intent to award a prize having such value]. No single wager shall exceed six dollars and for bell jars, coin boards, or merchandise boards, no single prize shall exceed five hundred dollars provided, however, that such limitation shall not apply to the amount of money or value paid by the participant in a raffle in return for a ticket or other receipt. For coin boards and merchandise boards, the value of a prize shall be determined by its costs to the authorized organization or, if donated, its fair market value. 8. Except for merchandise wheels and raffles, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than four hundred dollars when the licensed authorized organization conducts five single types of games of chance during any one license period. Except for merchandise wheels, raffles and bell jars, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than five hundred dollars when the licensed authorizedEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15972-01-2 S. 7506 2
organization conducts less than five single types of games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels, raffles and bell jars, during any one license period. No authorized organization shall award by raffle prizes with an aggregate value in excess of
[five hundred thousand]TWO MILLION dollars during any one license period. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.