Bingo Fundraiser Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

by Brian Wilson
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A bill that’s cleared the Iowa legislature would let churches and non-profit organizations that host bingo games as fundraisers offer a gun worth up to five-thousand dollars as a prize. The bill cleared the Senate almost unanimously in February without debate, but there was some push back this week before it passed the House. Representative Eric Gjerde, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, suggests any prize worth five-thousand dollars should be allowed.

Representative Shannon Lundgren, a Republican from Peosta, says she agrees, but that expansion would doom the bill if it was returned to the Senate.

The bill does raise the entry fee limit for bingo fundraisers to 50 dollars. The current limit on bingo prizes in Iowa is 250 dollars. The bill raises the value limit on prizes to 900 dollars — except for guns. The bill is headed to the governor for review. Bingo fundraisers for charity are legal in Iowa as long as the games are run by volunteers.

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