Charitable Gaming Legislation
By Vicki O'Brien
February 08, 2007
Hooray and kudos to Rep. Johansen for introducing HB116. After
years of the Alaska Broadcasters Association working to put this
into motion, I'm practically holding my breath in the hopes that
this session the bill will be passed and this long overdue legislation
will take effect.
Until very recently, I was a member of Ketchikan's broadcasting
community and on a number of occasions I had the unappealing
duty of telling hardworking non-profit volunteers that my radio
station was unable to run a spot for them if that spot contained
any information that could be construed as a "game of chance"...
anything you have to pay money to enter, such as a raffle. Never
mind that another radio station in town was currently running
the ad (either in ignorance or defiance of the law) and that
the papers were running ads as well. If a group wanted to mention
that game of chance, our answer was no. Most people were understanding,
once given the facts; some, however, were appalled, stating that
I, we, my station, had something against them or their organization.
We've been the recipients of anger, tears and oaths to "never
listen to this station again.. and I'm going to tell all my friends!!"
Fortunately the latter were few and far between, but the negative
reactions still hurt. It's a shame that people should take personally
an organization upholding the law, even if that law is unjust.
The example of KTKN getting reprimanded for their advertisment
of the Pennock Island Challenge is exactly the action we sought
to avoid. With the passage of this proposed legislation, no
broadcast entity will have to turn away its local non-profits
or run the risk of legal liability; this is a win-win situation
for all involved.
As I mentioned earlier, the Alaska Broadcasters Association has
worked long and hard to bring this legislation into being. Bills
were introduced last session only to stall at the hands of legislators
who did not understand the purpose behind the bills; the one
or two who failed to pass it through committee were hung up on
the notion that this is a step toward legalizing gambling in
Alaska. HB116 and its counterpart in the Senate DO NOT take
that step - make no mistake. These bills only seek to allow
broadcasters in radio and tv across the state to advertise that
which is already legal. It would take a completely separate
bill in both the House and Senate to make gambling legal, a step
the Alaskan broadcasting community is not even remotely interested
As a member of local non-profits myself, I know how diligently
groups work to fundraise and keep their good works going. Helping
to harness the power of local broadcast media will only further
these groups' efforts. Please, contact your legislators and
urge them to support these bills!
Received February 08, 2007 - Published February 08, 2006
About: "Ketchikan resident,
former employee of KFMJ radio"
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
raffles and lotteries bill introduced - Not-for-profit organizations
will be able to promote charitable raffles and lotteries by way
of radio or television broadcasting under legislation recently
introduced by Representative Kyle Johansen (R-Ketchikan). - More...
February 07, 2007
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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