Capitol Alert

California to allow 50-50 charity sports raffles

Confetti rains down during the ribbon-cutting and opening of Levi's Stadium July 17, 2014, in Santa Clara.
Confetti rains down during the ribbon-cutting and opening of Levi's Stadium July 17, 2014, in Santa Clara. AP

Californians attending sporting events will have the chance to cash in on charity raffles under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown announced signing on Monday.

Senate Bill 549 allows professional teams to hold in-game raffles in which the winning ticket holder takes home 50 percent of the proceeds, with the rest going to charity. Current California law authorizes charity raffles but dictates that at least 90 percent of the ticket sales must go to the cause.

Supporters said SB 549 would spur more giving by allowing teams to turn to captive audiences of fans attending games, noting that sports franchises in other states have raised impressive sums with the 50-50 contests.

But a group representing California nonprofits opposed the legislation for offering a special deal to sports-affiliated organizations. Some Native American tribes that operate casinos called it an unjustified expansion of legalized gambling.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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