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New law will protect poker runs from unreasonable ‘fees’

MARION – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was in Marion Tuesday to sign a bill easing fees that can be appied to poker runs.

State Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, was a vocal proponent of the bill as it passed through the General Assembly.

“I was proud to support Senate Bill 3312 when it came to the House of Representatives for a vote,” Meier said. “This law ensures that participants will be able to take part in poker runs without having to worry about potential legal troubles.”

Although poker runs are primarily fund-raising activities, organizers do often award small prizes to the winners. These small prizes made it necessary to reaffirm the legal status of the events under current Illinois law. Now, local police units will be able to treat poker runs the same way as they treat any other charitable raffle. Before Senate Bill 3312 was signed into law, poker runs could carry large fees that took money away from the charity it was raising funds for, but now, local governments will only be able to charge a reasonable fee up to $25.

“Unfortunately, poker run organizers were all too often handed high fees before they could hold their event. Since the purpose of a charity event is to raise money for those in need, this law will allow organizers to donate much more money to the charity they are raising the money for,” Meier said.

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