California Lawmakers Consider Barring Bitcoin from Charity Raffles

A lawmaker in California has proposed prohibiting the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies for private raffles.

AccessTimeIconFeb 21, 2017 at 5:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:06 p.m. UTC

A lawmaker in California has proposed prohibiting the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies in charitable raffles held by both private and non-profit organizations.

California Senate Bill 741, submitted late last week by Senator Tony Mendoza, creates the regulatory framework for "private, nonprofit organizations" that would govern how these entities are able to hold raffles at sporting events, county fairs and other public venues.

Notably, the measure would ban bitcoin from use as payment in those sanctioned raffles.

The bill states:

"A raffle ticket shall not be sold in exchange for bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency."

The measure goes on to prohibit the use of the internet to either conduct or sell tickets for a raffle, indicating that California lawmakers want to limit such events to physical locations. While not outlined in the bill, it's possible that cybersecurity and identity issues are behind the push.

The language mirrors a bill that amended the rules for sports organizations wishing to hold a raffle. That measure, too, prohibited the use of bitcoin for this purpose. The bill cleared the state legislature and was approved by the governor's office in late 2015.

SB 741 represents the latest legislative move related to bitcoin and blockchain in recent weeks, with lawmakers in states like North Dakota, Arizona and Hawaii, all weighing in on different bills related to the tech.

Image via Shutterstock


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