The new world of Covid-19 and all the changes that have occurred as in response to the demand for social distancing have, in many instances, resulted in more questions than answers.  As more events are being held utilizing remote platforms, various concerns are evolving.

Online gambling – legal or not?

At this time, a number of nonprofit organizations are concerned about how previous common activities, such as conducting a 50-50 raffle, will be impacted once the event is conducted on line instead of in person.

When asked about this challenging and complicated situation, Linda Czipo, the President and CEO of the Center for Non-Profits, which has been working on issues related to charities and games of chance, noted, “Unless something changes on the legislative/gubernatorial side, our understanding from the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission is that it is still not permissible for New Jersey charities to sell raffle tickets online. However, promoting a raffle that you will be conducting in person is allowed." 

Looking into a crystal ball

While it is nearly impossible to second guess the outcome, legislation that would allow raffles to be conducted remotely at large sports venues, AND would allow tickets for such raffles to be sold online, was conditionally vetoed by the Governor on October 19.   However, even if the Legislature concurs with the Governor’s recommended changes, the bill would only apply in a limited set of circumstances, so even if it becomes law, additional legislation would be needed to permit online raffle sales for charities more broadly.

We will keep you informed of any progress on this emerging topic!