February 20, 2013

Proposed poker fundraiser bill killed in committee

STAFF REPORT

The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday killed a bill that would have allowed charitable groups to hire outside experts to run poker tournaments or other fundraisers.

Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, sponsored L.D. 121 at the request of a Westbrook man who is involved in several fundraisers for his children's sports teams. Mike Mullett told the committee last week that he's been approached by several other charitable groups that needed help conducting successful poker tournaments to raise money for their causes.

Current law allows only members of groups to conduct games. Wilson's bill sought to allow groups to pay outsiders to run the games.

Legislators on the committee said Wednesday that they feared it would open the door to "casinos on wheels."

The committee voted unanimously "ought not to pass" on the bill.

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