Bill would boost payouts for charity gambling



By Olivia Covington

INDIANAPOLIS – Charities would be able to host more lucrative gambling events to raise money for their organizations and communities under a Senate bill heard in the House on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 166 would raise caps on charity gambling events in Indiana.

Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, who authored the bill, said both Ohio and Kentucky have already eliminated their charity gambling caps. She said Indiana needs fewer restrictions on its prizes to stay competitive.

Current law allows charitable organizations to host two bingo events each year in which the total prizes do not exceed $10,000. But SB 166 would raise that cap to $30,000.

And the bill would increase total pull tab, punchboard and tip board prizes from $5,000 to $25,000. The individual prizes would be raised from $599 to $15,000.

Leising said charity gambling revenue currently brings in $400 million to the state each year.

But, Leising said, “we are not trying to compete with casinos and racinos.”

Representatives from the American Legion and gaming organizations said they support the bill because they want Indiana to remain competitive in the industry.

Former American Legion Commander Butch Miller said money the organization gets from charitable gaming events is given back to the community through donations to schools or the honor guard. He said the American Legion is preventing local governments from having to provide those funds.

The committee did not vote on the bill.

Olivia Covington is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.