California Proposition 17, Private Non-Profits Allowed to Conduct Raffles (2000)

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California Proposition 17 was on the March 7, 2000 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Prop 17 amended the California Constitution to allow private nonprofit groups to conduct raffles under certain conditions.

The conditions are:

  • At least 90% of the gross receipts from the raffle must go directly to charitable purposes in California.
  • Any person who receives compensation in connection with the operation of a raffle must be an employee of the organization conducting the raffle.[1]

Election results

Proposition 17
Approveda Yes 4,112,490 58.7%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution

Proposition 17 amended Section 19 of Article IV by adding a new paragraph (f). The text of Section 19 follows, as it was amended by Proposition 17, with the part added by Proposition 17 printed in italic type.

Section 19:

(a) The Legislature has no power to authorize lotteries and shall prohibit the sale of lottery tickets in the State.

(b) The Legislature may provide for the regulation of horse races and horse race meetings and wagering on the results.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) , the Legislature by statute may authorize cities and counties to provide for bingo games, but only for charitable purposes.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), there is authorized the establishment of a California State Lottery.

(e) The Legislature has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit , casinos of the type currently operating in Nevada and New Jersey.

(f) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the Legislature may authorize private, nonprofit, eligible organizations, as defined by the Legislature, to conduct raffles as a funding mechanism to provide support for their own or another private, nonprofit, eligible organization's beneficial and charitable works, provided that (1) at least 90 percent of the gross receipts from the raffle go directly to beneficial or charitable purposes in California, and (2) any person who receives compensation in connection with the operation of a raffle is an employee of the private nonprofit organization that is conducting the raffle. The Legislature, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, may amend the percentage of gross receipts required by this subdivision to be dedicated to beneficial or charitable purposes by means of a statute that is signed by the Governor.

Coincidentally, on the same March 7, 2000 ballot where voters approved Proposition 17, they also approved Proposition 1A. Proposition 1A also proposed that a new paragraph (f) be added to Section 19 of Article IV. Since both propositions were approved, the official text of the California Constitution shows Section 19 as having two paragraphs (f). The first paragraph (f) comes from Proposition 1A, while the second paragraph (f) comes from Proposition 17.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Lotteries. Charitable Raffles. Legislative Constitutional Amendment.


The summary of the ballot measure prepared by the California Attorney General read:

  • Modifies current constitutional prohibition against private lotteries to permit legislative authorization of raffles conducted by private nonprofit organizations for beneficial and charitable purposes
  • Requires at least 90% of a raffle's gross receipts to go directly to beneficial or charitable purposes in California, but permits this percentage to be later amended by statute passed by two-thirds vote of each house without voter approval.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 17. That estimate was:

  • Probably no significant fiscal impact on state and local governments.

Path to the ballot

Proposition 17 was voted onto the ballot by the California State Legislature via Senate Constitutional Amendment 4 of the 1999-2000 Regular Session (Resolution Chapter 123, Statutes of 1999).

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 62 10
Senate 31 3

See also

External links