Legislation that would allow veterans and fraternal organizations to continue operating video raffle machines and raise millions of dollars for charities across Ohio has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives by State Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek).

"This legislation (House Bill 325) is essential to helping veterans and fraternal organizations continue the good works made possible by the video raffle program in recent years," said Rep. Perales. "It's very unfortunate that these programs have been put in jeopardy. It's time that the General Assembly moves forward and shows its support for those who have served their country so valiantly."

Rep. Perales said the General Assembly should move quickly because Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office has determined that current operations do not comply with state law due to recent policy changes.

"It's time we end the uncertainty about this program," said Rep. Perales, who noted that the Ohio Lottery's proposal to put its machines in the lodges "should be discussed, but it's important to recognize that any decision that reduces the amount of money raised will hurt veterans and charities because they would receive less in donations."

House Bill 325 would essentially preserve the program that has raised more than $5.6 million for more than 400 Ohio charities. It requires that the operations be transparent and have accountability measures built in so that state officials and the public can clearly understand how much money is raised and where it goes.

"I am very fortunate to have many current military members and veterans in my home area and I have seen firsthand what this program accomplishes," Rep. Perales said. "Homeless veterans have been sheltered, struggling families have received food donations and the list goes on. I am sure if my colleagues check with charities in their areas, they will hear the same stories and see the same results."

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