More money than ever could be on the line at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational next year.
And the fans could even get a piece of it.
If approved by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texans in general, a proposal to allow 50-50 charitable raffles — where one lucky winner claims half the jackpot and the other half goes to a local charity — could be in place when the golf tournament kicks off at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth next year.
“We would be very interested if approved by the governor and the voters to explore how we could use this at our event and further help charities in Fort Worth,” tournament manager Dennis Roberson said.
“Raising money for charities is a lot of what we do.”
Such raffles already are allowed for 10 professional sports teams in Texas, including the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks, through a measure passed in 2015 by the Legislature and approved by voters.
Now, lawmakers are trying to let more sporting events do the same thing.
House Bill 3125 has been passed by the House and Senate and should soon be on the way to the governor’s desk for consideration.
If Abbott signs the measure and Texas voters on Nov. 7 sign off on House Joint Resolution 100, charitable raffles could be held at more sporting events in Texas as soon as Dec. 1.
The size of jackpots would, of course, depend on sales. Last year a jackpot hit $65,000 at a Cowboys game, a Star-Telegram review shows.
More than $1.7 million was raised through 50-50 raffles in Texas last year, according to a survey conducted by the Star-Telegram.
This year’s legislation would let other sporting events participate, such as Texas Motor Speedway, the PGA Tour and minor-league baseball games.
TMS President Eddie Gossage said this year that he hoped the speedway would be included because there was “no negative to this.”
Gossage said he wants Speedway Children’s Charities, which has donated more than $10 million to organizations that serve youths in North Texas, to be able to hold the raffles and raise even more money for local needs.
“I lit up when I saw the opportunity existed,” Gossage said earlier this year. “We draw a big crowd and this is yet another opportunity to raise money to help the kids.”
Other sporting events that could offer raffles under this year’s measure include the American Hockey League, ECHL (formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League), Minor League Baseball, the National Basketball Association Development League, the National Women’s Soccer League and the United Soccer League.
This measure would also allow participants to use debit cards — instead of just cash — to buy raffle tickets.
Last year, more than $1.7 million was raised during 50-50 raffles in Texas, sending a number of sports fans home with extra cash and raising money for charitable work that ranged from boosting youth sports programs to helping families of the Dallas police officers killed last year, according to a survey conducted by the Star-Telegram.