SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


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 in.

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!

Vicki O'Brien
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 08, 2007 - Published February 08, 2006

About: "Ketchikan resident, former employee of KFMJ radio"


Related News:

Charitable 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



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska