California State Senator tony Mendoza last week submitted a bill designed to address the regulation of organizations that conduct charity raffles in the state. Noting that existing law already addresses raffles conducted by major league sports organizations, Senate Bill 741’s provisions would provide similar authorization to nonprofit organizations “established by, or affiliated with, a district agricultural association, county fair association, or citrus fruit fair association.” The measure has drawn some interest from the Bitcoin community, since it specifically addresses the digital currency:
“A raffle ticket shall not be sold in exchange for Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.”
This is not the first time that the legislature has included this exact language in a bill related to raffles. The Governor signed the authorization for sports organizations on October 5, 2015, and it included the same prohibitive language. Both measures also prohibit the use of gaming machines that can be defined as slot machines, as well as internet sales of raffle tickets.
Under the provisions outlined in the bill, those organizations would be free to use electronic devices to sell raffle tickets, and would be allowed to use the internet to advertise the raffle events. While some Bitcoin enthusiasts have already expressed disappointment with the decision, it is worth noting that the proposed rules would also prevent raffle participants from using credit cards, PayPal, or other electronic payment methods if those payments required online activity.