What’s Colorado Amendment C: Bingo and raffle rules

Amendment C, referred to the ballot by the state legislature, would constitute a change to the state constitution that would allow nonprofit organizations operating in Colorado for three years to apply for a bingo-raffle license, permit these games to be conducted by workers who are not members of the organization, and allow workers to receive compensation up to minimum wage. Currently, a nonprofit group must operate in the state for five years before getting a license and it may only use volunteers. Amendment C would allow bingo-raffle workers to be compensated in the form of meals or a payment that does not exceed minimum wage.

The case for: Allowing nonprofit organizations to compensate workers reduces the burden on nonprofits to provide volunteers to operate the games. Expanding licenses to newer nonprofit organizations removes a barrier and provides them with additional fundraising opportunities. By increasing access to bingo-raffle fundraising, this measure may help increase funding for nonprofit organizations.

The case against: Professionalizing bingo-raffle operations undermines their charitable fundraising purpose. Paying workers increases overhead to operate games, potentially reducing the amount of money nonprofit organizations are able to raise and dedicate to their core mission. By removing the requirement that workers be volunteers and expanding the number of nonprofits that participate, bingo-raffle games become more like for-profit gambling than charitable fundraising.

Ballot question: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the conduct of charitable gaming activities, and, in connection therewith, allowing bingo-raffle licensees to hire managers and operators of games and reducing the required period of a charitable organization’s continuous existence before obtaining a charitable gaming license?”

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