HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Gambling is illegal in Texas, and it’s not just blackjack and slots that are outlawed but some raffles for charity also fall under that ban, depending on how they are conducted.
State Proposition one would allow rodeos to raffle items for charity.
Raffling off items is not necessarily illegal in Texas, even though the state classifies raffles as gambling according to the Texas Attorney General’s office. For example, schools raffling off gift baskets is legal if they are an approved entity.
“You’re not conferring a monetary benefit upon another, you’re conferring a prize, and that prize is considered a token prize. Something not extremely worthy of value,” explained Rick Barrera, an attorney in Harlingen.
While only certain groups are allowed to hold raffles, proposition one would add the Men’s and Women’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to the list of approved rafflers.
This would allow them to raffle items for charity reasons only, as raffling for their own benefit is still illegal gambling.
Barrera said that the state allows places to “have raffles for fundraising purposes” for things like cancer research and non-profits that assist the less fortunate.
Texas only allows places to raffle off items up to a certain value. $50,000 for most items, but they also allow places to raffle off homes as long as their valuation is below $250,0000.
Barrera said that the PRCA already has raffles in other states. “These raffles are high-end. You’re dealing with four-door doolies, F-150s, F-350s, you’re dealing with $75,000 trucking trailers,” he said.
If proposition one is approved, they would also be capped at the $50,000 maximum.