The Frederick County Council is weighing the possibility of permitting residents to use credit cards for online games of chance. These games are exclusively organized by non-profits for fundraising purposes. The council members voted to organize a hearing for this proposal, which might find its place in the 2024 Legislative Package.
Highlighting the financial challenges faced by volunteer fire departments, Councilman Mason Carter introduced the bill. He observed, “The costs of apparatus and maintenance have dramatically risen, impacting volunteer fire companies.” He believes that permitting credit card payments for online gaming would be a positive step for non-profits.
During the pandemic, in-person fundraising events like bingo, raffles, and hall rentals had been put on hold. Jim Graham, the head of Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department, expressed his support for the bill. Drawing a comparison, he remarked, “Residents can use credit cards for lottery tickets at Rutters or sports betting on platforms like Fan Duel in Maryland. Why not for online raffles by non-profits in our county? The current scenario isn’t logical.”
However, Councilman Steve McKay clarified the bill’s scope, saying, “This isn’t about allowing every non-profit to host gaming events. It’s merely for those already authorized to conduct such events. This bill will just offer them an additional tool.”
Before hosting any gambling-based fundraising event, non-profits must secure the necessary gaming permits.
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