Two bills take aim at legalizing certain raffles - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Two bills take aim at legalizing certain raffles

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

What do march madness brackets and raffles have in common in the state of South Carolina? They're both illegal, but there's an effort underway to change that.

Two proposals working their way through the state legislature would legalize some charitable raffles.

One measure that found unanimous support from the House Judiciary Committee would ask voters in a ballot question to make raffles legal but not until 2015. It includes provisions barring organizers from profiting.

One parent is taking a stand to warn others that some organizations may be getting your child involved in illegal activity.

The parent, who asked to remain anonymous, was asked to sell $5 raffle tickets for her son's baseball team. Curious about the legal ramifications, the mom started to ask questions and called the State Law Enforcement Division.

"The answer they came back to me with was yes, it's very illegal. Do not buy or purchase raffle tickets," said the mother.

So what makes a raffle illegal?

"You have three elements, prize, chance, and consideration," said attorney Jay Bender.

The baseball league's not the only one to do it, but it's all illegal just the same.

"Other charities, they've always had casino nights and they've always been illegal, only rarely is anybody ever prosecuted for that," said Bender.

The law as it reads now can fine those participating up to $1,000 per ticket.

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