NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Voters approve constitutional amendment allowing charitable gaming fundraisers for veteran groups .
A 2002 constitutional amendment that created a state lottery for college scholarships dictated which groups could hold raffles and cakewalks. Nonprofit groups categorized as 501(c)(3)s under the U.S. tax code were in. But veterans’ groups, which are 501(c)(19)s, were out.
There is some dispute over whether the omission was an accident.
Some lawmakers say they were left out on purpose to avoid the taint of a 1980s bingo scandal where legitimate Tennessee charities were being used to run gambling operations.
The Tennessee Supreme Court ultimately ruled that bingo was illegal under the state constitution.
State law limits nonprofit gaming activities to raffles, reverse raffles, cakewalks and cakewheels.