Charitable Raffles In LIMBO
Despite efforts by Representative Weston Newton/R/Beaufort and Senator Chip Campsen /R/Charleston to avoid legal uncertainty over the use of raffles by charitable nonprofits after the July 1, 2020 sunset of the current Raffle Act, we are in limbo until the General Assembly returns for a special two-week session on September 15th.
We remain encouraged that the legislature will enact S.719 when it reconvenes and we hope that the final version of the reauthorization bill will remove the sunset provision going forward since raffles have proven their success in safely raising over $13 million for beneficial causes over the last five years. We also appreciate the support of bill sponsors, Rep. Russell Fry/R/Horry and Senator Greg Hembree /R/Horry.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s position is that it has no enforcement authority after July first, so it will disable the raffle registration feature on its website. They will retain the raffle financial report form and online filing feature so that charities can still file those for the last fiscal year that they registered (late fines would not be assessed).
Whether or not SLED would seek criminal enforcement for raffles scheduled between July and the expected reauthorization of the Raffle Act in September is unknown.
Updates on this situation may be found at https://sos.sc.gov/online-filings/charities-pfrs-and-raffles/raffles.
July 9th Update:
Here's the message the Secr. of State's Office is sending out.
Dear Raffles Customer:
On July 1, 2020, the statute authorizing nonprofit raffles for charitable purposes was repealed pursuant to S.C. Code § 33-57-200. Legislation is currently pending to reauthorize nonprofit raffles; however, the General Assembly is not scheduled to reconvene until September 15, 2020.
Please note that if your raffle registration is still active and does not expire prior to the passage of the reauthorization bill, you will not need to file a second raffle registration for that same fiscal year.
In addition, you may still file your annual raffle financial report for the prior fiscal year by mailing the report to the Secretary of State’s Office, ATTN: Division of Public Charities, 1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525, Columbia, SC 29201.
If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Public Charities at email@example.com.
Public Charities Division