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Wayne “Pickle” Coates and I went to the Senate Judiciary Committee “subcommittee report” for S-256 and S-255. These bills will allow non profits to hold up to four poker runs, raffles, 50 / 50’s, and other games to raise money a year.  They would also allow one Casino Night a year which would consist of people winning raffle tickets that could be turned in for prizes. As of right now it is illegal to conduct a raffle in the state of South Carolina and the fine is $1,000 with one year in jail. So with all of us bikers trying to help a brother out on a poker run you can see why ABATE is in full support of these two bills.

The first bill S-256 is an amendment to Section 7, Article XVIII of the state constitution and once this passes it will be voted on by the public in the next general election. The second bill S-255 which is an amendment to Title 33 of the Code of Laws is the same as the first bill it just changes the state law.

All four members of the subcommittee were present. Chairman of this subcommittee Senator Cleary, Senator Bright, Senator Mulvaney, Senator Joel Lourie, and Senator Hutto. Senator Cleary said at the public hearings the majority of the people where for it. One exception was Joe Mack of the South Carolina Baptist Convention who was at all of the hearings and feels that anyone having a raffle should be arrested.  Even worse if you go to this link they are waging an all out attack based on morality http://baptisttalk.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/stop-casino-nights-and-raffles/ .

Senator Scott wanted to know if public officials are covered in this bill since they currently cannot play the state lottery. Senator Cleary said no as that is under a different section of the law. Senator Scott said he would like to introduce a bill that would allow them to play as they should not be excluded. Several Senators said they would support it. Senator Shoopman said he feels people cannot control themselves and we will have raffle mania if these bills pass. Senator Lourie wanted to limit it to just two a year as he also feels we are just too stupid and will go crazy on these raffles. Senator Cleary went on to say that if the general assembly cannot pass these bills then he expects the current law to be enforced by arresting the people that continue to violate the law.

So please make every effort to get the word out to your Senator / Representative that we want raffles to be legalized so we can continue to raise money for people in our community without the fear of being arrested and going to jail

Judiciary Committee Contact List just click on the name to get their contact information