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Is Raffling Off A Corvette For $1 Considered Illegal Gambling?

The State of New York says so.

For more than 70 years, the Stafford, New York Volunteer Fire Department has held a Father’s Day raffle at the local carnival. It has brought in thousands of dollars every year to help pay for firefighting equipment. But this year’s event has been cancelled, courtesy of a whistleblower who informed the New York Gaming Authority. The problem? Event organizers planned to raffle off a Nassau Blue 1965 Corvette Stingray Convertible, and raffle tickets were sold outside the county. The Gaming Authority claims that tickets can’t be sold online or paid for with credit cards.

For decades, Stafford sold $1 raffle tickets individually or in books of 15 for $10 across the country. As of now, everything is cancelled because the event was to be paid for with the proceeds from the raffle donations, and sold tickets have been returned. “The law hasn’t kept up with technology,” stated Barry Flansburg, a fire department member. “Why hasn’t somebody looked at Stafford and said, ‘Look how forward thinking they were,’ instead of crying, ‘Oh, they broke the law.’ Why aren’t we congratulating Stafford on their creative way of making money, money that doesn’t come out of the taxpayers’ pockets?” And now the department is stuck with a restored Corvette worth $90,000.

They won’t be able to generate enough profit and cover the cost of the car from a raffle held regionally. “We’ll have to sell it, probably for a loss,” stated the fire department president. As for that whistle blower? “Whoever turned us in didn’t think about the $5,000 we gave to Mercy Flight each year, or the equipment it enabled us to purchase to protect the community,” stated another official.

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