Friday, November 3, 2017

Texas Stars Eager to Start 50/50 Raffles If Proposition 5 Passes

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Next Tuesday is Election Day in Texas, and one of the ballot measures could have a big impact on the Texas Stars. Proposition 5, if passed, would amend the state constitution to allow minor league teams like the Texas Stars to hold 50/50 raffles at their home games.

A 50/50 raffle, if you're not familiar, is a combination charitable event and lottery that is extremely popular in Canada. Fans buy raffle tickets at the game and their proceeds go into the pot. At the end of the night, one ticket is chosen as the winner and that person gets half the collected funds. The other half goes to a charity. In the case of the Texas Stars, this would be their foundation.

These types of raffles are extremely popular in Canada with the pot for some NHL games hitting six figures. Some fans may remember the $10,000+ pots for 50/50 raffles that were advertised in St. John's during the Calder Cup run.

Raffles like this are restricted under the constitution as the state has been the only entity allowed to run a lottery in the past. Two years ago, a similar proposition passed that allowed major league teams to run these raffles. Prop 5 would expand this to all minor league teams, including Texas, the Round Rock Express and the Austin Spurs.

"We've had good success [in Dallas]," said Brad Alberts, President of the Texas Stars, concerning the raffles in Dallas. "You can't compare it to Canada. Hockey and 50/50 raffles are synonymous there. We're fairly happy, and we think there's upside there."

Part of the upside comes after getting fans more familiar with the concept, he notes.

"A Canadian hockey fan gets their 50/50 ticket and a beer and they go to their seat. That's part of going to a hockey game in Canada. It's due to Texas culture. People have to get used to it. As it comes to every sporting event, people will start to participate at a higher level."

The Stars plan to use their funds to promote youth hockey in Central Texas. The Dallas Stars Foundation does the same for North Texas with their funds. Alberts also notes that fundraisers like this give the team more discretionary funds to donate when disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, strike.

Early voting ends today. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.

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