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As I See It

Will meat raffles become legal again?



It is hardly the most pressing issue facing the state of Wisconsin, but it is good to see our lawmakers are willing to give a break to those trying to do good in their communities. The State Senate has passed a bill easing restrictions on charitable gambling. The so-called paddlewheel raffles are popular at churches and veteran’s organizations. But it was recently declared that such events are also illegal. That is the reason the duck races are no longer part of Riverfest, even though they raised thousands of dollars for charity. The Department of Justice determined that such raffles are a form of illegal gambling, subject to a penalty of a Class I felony. That seems rather harsh.  Keep in mind these meat raffles or gun raffles are typically done to raise money for charity, and that everybody has the same chance to win. The Senate bill to make the games of chance legal comes with the backing of several charitable organizations and passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill now moves to the Assembly, and if approved there, goes to Governor Tony Evers. But Evers has been a bit of a stick in the mud on this issue. Similar legislation passed both chambers in the last legislative session, but was vetoed by Evers with no explanation. Evers should loosen his tie a bit and quit being such a fuddy-duddy on this. He should even buy a ticket in one of these raffles, and realize it is nothing more than good, clean fun. And who couldn’t use a little of that these days?

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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