Governor Denies Charitable Bingo Relief.

We learned today that Governor Abbott denied the Texas Lottery Commission’s request to provide regulatory relief to the charitable bingo industry in Texas.

TCA, and other industry groups, called on the TLC to ask the Governor to use his emergency powers to suspend the net proceeds and state prize fee laws in the first two quarters of 2020. While the Governor denied the request, we appreciate the support of the Commissioners and the staff.

Veterans groups, faith-based organizations, senior citizen centers, first responders, animal rescue shelters, healthcare providers – about 1,000 nonprofits all together – must now file quarterly reports this month and millions of dollars in fees to The State of Texas.

This at a time when the only source of revenue for many of these nonprofits is gone.

TCA is sad and disappointed in this decision. We are not defeated. There are three things you can do right now.

First, call, write, text, email, post on your social media a simple, but courteous and respectful, message to Governor Abbott: Reconsider your decision and #SaveTexasCharitableBingo.

Second, in the last few days, TCA has turned its attention to cities and counties. Most chose last fall to continue to receive the local share of bingo prize fees. H.B. 914 allows them to revote at any time. Ask your county commissioners and city council members to vote on this issue again.

Thanks to charities in Harris County last fall, it’s the only major county that didn’t vote on this issue. As a result, those Harris County charity conductors now have hundreds of thousands of dollars to use for charitable purposes.

If you live in a city or county where you must pay the prize tax this month, call, write, text, email, post on your social media a simple message to county commissioners and city council members: Reconsider your decision and #SaveTexasCharitableBingo.

Finally, TCA will not let this terrible crisis go to waste. We are planning now for the 2021 legislative session. We will put forward a bold and aggressive agenda to make charitable bingo better for customers and stronger for our charity members.

You have a role to play in that too: send TCA your thoughts and ideas on state legislation that can #SaveTexasCharitableBingo.

In a public health and economic crisis, we look to local, state and national leadership to do the right thing and help people. We expect them to help us get through the immediate crisis and move as quickly as possible to full recovery.

If you take the steps outlined above, then there’s still time to convince elected leaders to do the right thing. 

Please join us by taking these actions today.