August 17, 2020

Nebraska Legislature Approves Amendments to State Raffle Laws for Non-Profits

Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator

On August 11, the Nebraska Legislature voted to pass Legislative Bill 1056 (LB 1056) by a vote of 47-0. Originally introduced as amendments to the Nebraska Liquor Control Act, LB 1056 was amended to include changes to the state’s raffle and lottery laws, expanding raffle opportunities for non-profit organizations who have struggled to raise money during the COVID-19 pandemic (originally introduced in LB 930). The amendments to LB 1056 received support among various conservation groups across the state, including the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation, as non-profit organizations increasingly seek to utilize raffles to raise funds.

Currently, non-profit organizations that are organized or incorporated in Nebraska may apply for a raffle permit that is valid for three months. With the passage of LB 1056, those permits will now be valid for one-year, greatly expanding the opportunities for non-profit organizations to use raffles as a means of raising funds. LB 1056 will also allow non-profits to sell raffle tickets online through their organization’s website, and customers will be able to use a debit card to purchase tickets. Finally, LB 1056 changes the tax reporting requirements associated with raffles, requiring reports only once per year rather than every quarter.

Scott Smathers, Executive Director for the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation, worked tirelessly for the past several sessions with mission partners and members of the Nebraska Legislative Sportsmen’s Forum in support of the raffle language included in LB 1056.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic creating significant fundraising challenges for non-profit organizations around the country, LB 1056 represents a great opportunity for Nebraska’s non-profit organizations to pursue fundraising options that have historically been unavailable.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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