Hearing To Be Held On Bill Allowing The Use Of Credit Cards For On Line Fundraising Games Of Chance From Non-Profits

It could be part of the Frederick County Council’s 2024 Legislative Package.

Frederick, Md (KM) A bill to allow citizens to use their credit cards to take part in on line fundraising games of chance sponsored by non-profits could be added to the Frederick County Council’s 2024 Legislative Package. The Council on Tuesday voted to hold a  hearing on the measure..

The legislation is sponsored by Councilman Mason Carter. “Volunteer fire companies they have dealt with inflation first hand as the cost of apparatus. the maintenance thereof, their facility, and the maintenance thereof, continue to skyrocket,” he  said.

It would “allow non-profits corporations to accept payments via credit cards for their on line gaming,” he continued

Supporting the legislation is Jim Graham, the President of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department. He told the Council that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fire company and other non-profits could not  hold in-person fundraising events which featured  such activities as bingo and raffles, or to rent out the hall for other events.

Graham says he wanted to hold these fundraisers on line, and allow participants to use their credit cards to make wagers. But was told that’s contrary to Maryland law. “I can go to Rutters and I can use my credit card in the lottery vending machine and get lottery tickets. I can go on line, use my credit card with Fan Duel and do sports betting in the state of Maryland. Why can’t I go on line and buy an on line raffle from a non-profit in Frederick County. Anyway, . it just doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.;

During the discussion, Councilwoman MC Keegan-Ayer voted for taking it a public hearing, but wanted more information on the legislation before voting in favor or against. “We take it to public hearing next week, and we’ll be voting on it the following week. So we really only have two weeks to get some input on how this will work,’ she said.

“I wouldn’t read this as enabling any non-profit to now offer gaming events. I think that’s probably provided by separate law,” Councilman Steve McKay pointed out. “This is just for those non-profits that already have the gambling authorization that would give them this added tool.”

Non-profits which want to hold gambling events as fundraisers need to get gaming permits from the state.

By Kevin McManus