NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

1979 SESSION

 

 

CHAPTER 893

SENATE BILL 127

 

 

AN ACT TO PERMIT THE LIMITED OPERATION OF RAFFLES AND BINGO GAMES.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

Section 1. G.S. 14-292 is rewritten to read as follows:

" 14-292. Gambling. Except as provided in G.S. 14-292.1, any person or organization that operates any game of chance or any person who plays at or bets on any game of chance at which any money, property or other thing of value is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

Sec. 2. Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding the following new section:

" 14-292.1. Bingo and raffles. (a) It is lawful for an exempt organization to conduct raffles and bingo games in accordance with the provisions of this section. Any person who conducts a raffle or bingo game in violation of any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor under G.S. 14-292 and shall be punished in accordance with G.S. 14-3. Upon conviction such person shall not conduct a raffle or bingo game for a period of one year. It is lawful to participate in a raffle or bingo game conducted pursuant to this section. It shall not constitute a violation of State law to advertise a raffle or bingo game conducted in accordance with this section.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term:

(1) 'exempt organization' means an organization that has been in continuous existence in the county of operation of the raffle or bingo game for at least one year and that is exempt from taxation under Sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(8), 501(c)(10), 501(c)(19), or 501(d) of the Internal Revenue Code or is exempt under similar provisions of North Carolina General Statutes as a bona fide nonprofit charitable, civic, religious, fraternal, patriotic or veterans' organization or as a nonprofit volunteer fire department, or as a nonprofit volunteer rescue squad or a bona fide homeowners' or property owners' association. (If the organization has local branches or chapters, the term 'exempt organization' means the local branch or chapter operating the raffle or bingo game);

(2) 'bingo game' means a specific game of chance played with individual cards having randomly numbered squares ranging from one to seventy-five, in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers on such cards conforming to a predetermined pattern of numbers selected at random (but shall not include 'instant bingo', which is a game of chance played by the selection of one or more prepacked cards, with winners determined by the appearance of a preselected designation on the card);

(3) 'raffle' means a lottery in which the prize is won by a random drawing of the name or number of one or more persons purchasing chances.

(c) The exempt organization must prominently display in the specific place or room where the raffle or bingo game is being conducted a determination letter (or a reproduction copy thereof) from the Internal Revenue Service or the North Carolina Department of Revenue that indicates that the organization is an exempt organization.

(d) The exempt organization may expend proceeds derived from a raffle or bingo game only for prizes, utilities and the purchase of supplies and equipment used in conducting the raffle and in playing bingo, taxes related to raffles and bingo, and the payment of compensation and rent as authorized by subsection (e) of this section. All proceeds remaining after the above authorized expenditures shall inure to the exempt organization to be used for religious, charitable, civic, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or for purchasing, constructing, maintaining, operating or using equipment or land or a building or improvements thereto owned by and for the exempt organization and used for civic purposes or made available by the exempt organization for use by the general public from time to time, or to foster amateur sports competition or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, provided that no proceeds shall be used or expended for social functions for the members of the exempt organization.

(e) No person may be compensated for conducting a raffle or bingo game. An exempt organization shall not contract with any person for the purpose of conducting a raffle or bingo game except that an exempt organization may lease space for such purpose at a fixed sum and not at a percentage of receipts or proceeds. Such leases shall be at a fixed rate not subject to change during the term of the lease. The provisions of this subsection notwithstanding, an exempt organization may compensate a person for conducting raffles or bingo games conducted at a fair or other exhibition conducted pursuant to Article 45 of Chapter 106 of the General Statutes.

(f) The number of sessions of bingo conducted or sponsored by an exempt organization shall be limited to two sessions per week and such sessions must not exceed a period of five hours each per county. No more than two sessions of bingo shall be operated or conducted in any one building, hall or structure during any one calendar week; provided, however, that two exempt organizations may operate up to two sessions of bingo each per week in the same building, hall or structure, if the organizations do not use the same equipment and personnel. Four consecutive nights of bingo may not be held on the same premises during any one calendar week. Raffles shall be limited to one per month per county. This subsection shall not apply to raffles or bingo games conducted at a fair or other exhibition conducted pursuant to Article 45 of Chapter 106 of the General Statutes.

(g) The maximum prize in cash or merchandise that may be offered or paid for any one game of bingo is five hundred dollars ($500.00). The maximum aggregate amount of prizes, in cash and/or merchandise, that may be offered or paid at any one session of bingo is one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). Provided, however, that if an exempt organization holds only one session of bingo during a calendar week, the maximum aggregate amount of prizes, in cash and/or merchandise, that may be offered or paid at any one session is two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). The maximum cash prize that may be offered or paid for any one raffle is five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(h) The operation of raffles or bingo games shall be the direct responsibility of, and controlled by, a special committee selected by the governing body of the exempt organization in the manner provided by the rules of the exempt organization. Upon their selection, the members of the committee shall register with the sheriff of the county in which the raffle or bingo game is to be conducted. The registration shall disclose the identity and address of the members of the committee and the exempt organization.

(i) All funds received in connection with a raffle or bingo game (except funds given as prizes in connection with a particular raffle or bingo game) shall be placed in a separate bank account. No funds may be disbursed from this account except for the purposes authorized by subsection (d) of this section. A separate account shall be kept of all funds received in connection with raffles or bingo games (including the amount of any prize) and the amount and purpose of any disbursement. An audit of the account shall be conducted annually by the special committee for the period July 1 to June 30. A copy of the audit shall be filed on or before September 15 of each year with the sheriff of the county in which the raffle or bingo game is conducted. All books, papers, records and documents relevant to determining whether an organization has acted or is acting in compliance with this section shall be open to inspection by the sheriff or his designee or the district attorney or his designee at reasonable times and during reasonable hours.

(j) A raffle or bingo game conducted otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this section is 'gambling' within the meaning of G.S. 19-1 et seq., and proceedings against such raffle or bingo game may be instituted as provided for in Chapter 19 of the General Statutes.

(k) Any exempt organization operating a bingo game or raffle which is open to persons other than members of the exempt organization, their spouses, and their children shall make such bingo game or raffle open to the general public.

(l) Nothing in this Article except subsection (k) of this section shall apply to bingo games when the only prize given is ten dollars ($10.00) or less or merchandise that is not redeemable for cash and that has a value of ten dollars ($10.00) or less. G.S. 18A-30(9) and G.S. 18A-35(h) shall apply to such games."

Sec. 3. G.S. 14-289, as it appears in Volume 1B of the General Statutes, 1969 Replacement, is hereby amended by striking out the word "If" in line one and substituting therefor the words "Except in connection with a lawful raffle as provided in G.S. 14-292.1, if".

Sec. 4. G.S. 14-290, as it appears in Volume 1B of the General Statutes, 1969 Replacement, is hereby amended by striking out the word "If" in line one and substituting therefor the words "Except in connection with a lawful raffle as provided in G.S. 14-292.1, if".

Sec. 5. G.S. 14-291, as it appears in Volume 1B of the General Statutes, 1969 Replacement, is hereby amended by striking out the word "If" in line one and substituting therefor the words "Except in connection with a lawful raffle as provided in G.S. 14-292.1, if".

Sec. 6. G.S. 14-291.1, as it appears in Volume 1B of the General Statutes, 1969 Replacement, is hereby amended by striking out the word "If" in line one and substituting therefor the words "Except in connection with a lawful raffle as provided in G.S. 14-292.1, if".

Sec. 7. All general or local laws that permit the operation of raffles or bingo games in counties or towns are repealed.

Sec. 8. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

Sec. 9. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to render lawful any act committed prior to the effective date of this act and unlawful at the time the act occurred; and nothing contained in this act shall be construed to affect any prosecution pending on the effective date of this act.

Sec. 10. G.S. 18A-30 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

"(9) Sale or consumption at bingo game or raffle. It is unlawful for any person to sell or consume alcoholic beverages, fortified wine, or mixed beverages in any room while a raffle or bingo game is being conducted in that room under G.S. 14-292.1."

Sec. 11. G.S. 18A-35 is amended by adding a new subsection (h) to read:

"(h) It is unlawful for any person to sell or consume beer or unfortified wine in any room while a raffle or bingo game is being conducted in that room under G.S. 14-292.1."

Sec. 12. This act is effective September 1, 1979.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this the 8th day of June, 1979.