Recently, Indiana's charity gaming laws have undergone several changes creating some confusion. During the 2007 session, new legislation was passed to legitimize charity gaming practices and to make the law consistent. I understand that this can be quite confusing so I will do my best to outline the rules and regulations.
There are several organizations that are permitted or qualified to receive authorization to host charity gaming events. A qualified organization means a bona fide religious, educational, senior citizens, veterans or civic organization operating in Indiana that:
1) operates without profit to the organization's members;
2) is exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code; and
3) has been continuously in existence in Indiana for a least five years or affiliated with a parent organization
that has done such.
To receive a license, organizations must apply with the Indiana Gaming Commission's Licenses Control Division. Application requirements vary, based on the activity you seek to authorize, but are easily obtained via the Gaming Commissions website at www.in.gov/gaming/.
One of the most popular new licenses offered by the Gaming Commission is the charity gaming night license. This can be particularly beneficial as a fundraising mechanism for organizations such as veterans and civic organizations. This license allows a qualified organization to conduct events three times a week on not more than two consecutive days. A charity game night consists of an event at which wagers are placed on games approved by the commission with imitation money. This legitimizes events such as summer socials or Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. All games must be approved by the commission.
The most publicized portions of the new law is the section legalizing pull tabs. The Gaming Commission now has the authority to issue licenses permitting fraternal organizations to sell pull tabs, punch boards, and tip boards at any time on the premises owned or leased by the qualified organization.
I have listed a small portion of the new laws concerning charity gaming. If this is a topic of interest to you, I will be hosting an informational meeting regarding charity gaming at the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce in the Anthony Wayne Room. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 19 at 6:30 p.m. Larry Rollins from the Indiana Gaming Commission will be giving the presentation and will also be available to answer questions. As always, I am willing to answer any questions so please do not hesitate to contact my office at 1-800-382-9841 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.