NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York has just gotten a new game of chance at sporting venues that will benefit charities and fans. Mayor Eric Adams signed into law a bill that wipes out a nearly 50-year-old law and allows New York City to join scores of other cities to step up to the plate for charity.
Surrounded by community leaders and sponsors of the bill, Adams replaced a 1976 law on the old city charter. With a stroke of his pen, he authorized sporting venues in New York City to offer charitable 50-50 raffles with winnings up to $300,000 a game. Fifty percent would go to the ticket holder, with the other half going to a non-profit charitable organization.
“We have now taken it from the minor leagues of the small organizations to the big leagues of our professional sporting events in the city. This is a real win,” Adams said.
Under the legislation signed at Yankee Stadium, venues such as the stadium. Barclays Center, Citi Field and Madison Square Garden will be able to offer these raffles, allowing their teams to dedicate additional funding toward philanthropic work.
“This is a giant win-win. The Yankees are engaged with the community on a daily basis. In addition to putting on great baseball and other events, it’s living with the community and trying to make lives better,” said Randy Levine, the president of the New York Yankees.
Other cities have permitted games of chance for years and have seen great windfalls for charity. Last season, for example, the Los Angeles Rams raised nearly $2 million for charity. Adams said it’s time New York catches up to the rest of the country by allowing these games of chance at sporting events.
“Now when we bring our children to sporting events, they are going to be able to witness not only being winning on the field, but how do you get to give back and really share the benevolence,” Adams said.
Eventually, fans will be able to get into the game from home online. Many nonprofits across the city will be the beneficiaries of the 50-50 raffle.
Dr. Meisha Porter is president of The Bronx Community Foundation, and her organization is likely to be one of the beneficiaries of the program.
“This is an exciting day,” Porter said. “It’s a great day for New York City, and it shows the commitment of not only the New York Yankees, but of sports teams across New York City to invest in our boroughs.”
Now that the bill is signed, the process has begun to get the raffles into the hands of players as quickly as possible. Once licensing agreements are signed, organizers hope you can start playing around the time of the MLB All-Star Game in July.