August 24, 2020

Online Raffle Authorization Bill Supported by Caucus Co-Chairs and Members Introduced in Pennsylvania

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States and States Program Administrator

On August 18, Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Senators Jim Brewster and Daniel Laughlin were among numerous other bipartisan legislators to propose Senate Bill 1266 (SB 1266) – legislation that recognizes the significant financial challenges that businesses and organizations have been experiencing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and provides a temporary allowance for online raffles.  

If passed into law, SB 1266 would authorize “licensed eligible organization[s]” to “conduct games of chance through a publicly accessible Internet website, social media platform or mobile application” during a “disaster emergency.” On June 3, the state’s “disaster emergency” status was renewed through a proclamation for an additional 90 days. Realizing that hosting events is largely impossible given the current state of affairs, this bill would allow certain entities to conduct their normal fundraising events through an online platform – something that certainly represents a hopeful light for numerous fish and wildlife conservation organizations.

SB 1266 is currently in the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) applauds Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Senators Jim Brewster and Daniel Laughlin on their willingness to support this forward-thinking legislation. CSF will continue to engage on this issue and will provide further updates as they are available.

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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