A Senate panel on Thursday advanced a measure allowing raffles and bingo games to be held virtually.
“Many non-profits and charities have seen their primary revenue sources severely diminished due to rules and guidelines restricting indoor gatherings during the pandemic,” said State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Franklin), one of the bill’s prime sponsor. “By re-opening the revenue flow with remote contests, this measure could be a life preserver to vital organizations that may not otherwise survive the fiscal challenges created by the coronavirus.”
The measure, also sponsored by State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), only applies to eligible organizations — including veterans’ groups, religious organizations, charitable, educational and fraternal organizations, civic and service clubs, senior citizen associations and clubs, and volunteer fire companies, first aid, and rescue squads — and the technology used must first be approved by the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission.
“The virus has impacted every aspect of our lives, and we have been forced to find alternatives to the way things have always been done. This is one of those examples,” Oroho said. “Bingo is still bingo if you call the numbers on Zoom or another approved digital solution.”