Difference between revisions of "Texas Constitution:Article III, Section 47"

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As adopted in 1876, this section read: "The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting the establishment of lotteries and gift enterprises in this State, as well as the sale of tickets in lotteries, gift enterprises or other evasions involving the lottery principle, established or existing in other States."
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As adopted in 1876, this section read: "The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting the establishment of lotteries and gift enterprises in this State, as well as the sale of tickets in lotteries, gift enterprises or other evasions involving the lottery principle, established or existing in other States." The section has been amended six times. Amendments were approved in 1980, 1989, 1991, 2015, and 2017 (two).
  
The section has been amended six times. Amendments were approved in 1980, 1989, 1991, 2015, and 2017 (two).
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The Texas Attorney General, in Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. [https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/50abbott/op/2003/pdf/ga0103.pdf#page=8 GA-l03] (2003), opined that: "[I]n approving the addition of subsection (e) to article III, section 47 of the Texas Constitution, Texas voters in 1991 did not intend to authorize the state to operate, or to contract for the operation of, 'lotteries' in the broad sense that it has been construed by the courts since the adoption of the 1876 constitution."
  
 
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Revision as of 16:48, July 13, 2019

As amended November 7, 2017:

(a) The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting lotteries and gift enterprises in this State other than those authorized by Subsections (b), (d), (d-1), and (e) of this section.

(b) The Legislature by law may authorize and regulate bingo games conducted by a church, synagogue, religious society, volunteer fire department, nonprofit veterans organization, fraternal organization, or nonprofit organization supporting medical research or treatment programs. A law enacted under this subsection must permit the qualified voters of any county, justice precinct, or incorporated city or town to determine from time to time by a majority vote of the qualified voters voting on the question at an election whether bingo games may be held in the county, justice precinct, or city or town. The law must also require that: (1) all proceeds from the games are spent in Texas for charitable purposes of the organizations; (2) the games are limited to one location as defined by law on property owned or leased by the church, synagogue, religious society, volunteer fire department, nonprofit veterans organization, fraternal organization, or nonprofit organization supporting medical research or treatment programs; and (3) the games are conducted, promoted, and administered by members of the church, synagogue, religious society, volunteer fire department, nonprofit veterans organization, fraternal organization, or nonprofit organization supporting medical research or treatment programs.

(c) The law enacted by the Legislature authorizing bingo games must include: (1) a requirement that the entities conducting the games report quarterly to the Comptroller of Public Accounts about the amount of proceeds that the entities collect from the games and the purposes for which the proceeds are spent; and (2) criminal or civil penalties to enforce the reporting requirement.

(d) The Legislature by general law may permit charitable raffles conducted by a qualified religious society, qualified volunteer fire department, qualified volunteer emergency medical service, or qualified nonprofit organizations under the terms and conditions imposed by general law. The law must also require that: (1) all proceeds from the sale of tickets for the raffle must be spent for the charitable purposes of the organizations; and (2) the charitable raffle is conducted, promoted, and administered exclusively by members of the qualified religious society, qualified volunteer fire department, qualified volunteer emergency medical service, or qualified nonprofit organization.

(d-1) The legislature by general law may permit a professional sports team charitable foundation to conduct charitable raffles under the terms and conditions imposed by general law. The law may authorize the charitable foundation to pay with the raffle proceeds reasonable advertising, promotional, and administrative expenses. A law enacted under this subsection applies only to an entity defined as a professional sports team charitable foundation under that law and may only allow charitable raffles to be conducted at games hosted at the home venue of the professional sports team associated with a professional sports team charitable foundation. In this subsection, "professional sports team" means: (1) a team organized in this state that is a member of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, Major League Soccer, the American Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League, the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, Minor League Baseball, the National Basketball Association Development League, the National Women's Soccer League, the Major Arena Soccer League, the United Soccer League, or the Women's National Basketball Association; (2) a person hosting a motorsports racing team event sanctioned by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), INDYCar, or another nationally recognized motorsports racing association at a venue in this state with a permanent seating capacity of not less than 75,000; (3) an organization hosting a Professional Golf Association event; or (4) any other professional sports team defined by law.

(d-2) Subsection (a) of this section does not prohibit the legislature from authorizing credit unions and other financial institutions to conduct, under the terms and conditions imposed by general law, promotional activities to promote savings in which prizes are awarded to one or more of the credit union's or financial institution's depositors selected by lot.

(e) The Legislature by general law may authorize the State to operate lotteries and may authorize the State to enter into a contract with one or more legal entities that will operate lotteries on behalf of the State.

Editor Comments

As adopted in 1876, this section read: "The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting the establishment of lotteries and gift enterprises in this State, as well as the sale of tickets in lotteries, gift enterprises or other evasions involving the lottery principle, established or existing in other States." The section has been amended six times. Amendments were approved in 1980, 1989, 1991, 2015, and 2017 (two).

The Texas Attorney General, in Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. GA-l03 (2003), opined that: "[I]n approving the addition of subsection (e) to article III, section 47 of the Texas Constitution, Texas voters in 1991 did not intend to authorize the state to operate, or to contract for the operation of, 'lotteries' in the broad sense that it has been construed by the courts since the adoption of the 1876 constitution."

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

None.

Historic Decisions

  • City of Wink v. Griffith Amusement Co., 100 S.W.2d 695, 701 (Tex. 1936) ("If it be granted that the plan of defendant in error's 'Bank Night' was not a lottery because a charge was not made for the registration entitling on to participate in the drawing (and this is the only distinction which is here or could be made), then it clearly comes within the condemnatory terms of the Constitution, because it is a 'gift enterprise' involving the lottery principle, which the authorities hold is that principle by which something is to be given by chance. . . . Being condemned by the Constitution, it is against the 'public policy of the State.'")
  • Prendergast v. State, 57 S.W. 850, 851 (Tex.Crim.App. 1899) ("The machine retained the major part of the common fund, else it could not be self-sustaining. Nor was this a game of perfect chance. The machine was automatically constructed in favor of the keeper, and a man might play (that is, put his nickel into the slot), and not win anything. Consequently there would be no prize distributed to him when he played it. Evidently there was some effort here in the proof to show a similarity between this and a raffle, but in our view the evidence showed a distinct difference.")
  • Barry v. State, 45 S.W. 571, 571 (Tex.Crim.App. 1898) (citations omitted) ("One of the witnesses testified that he had heard it called a 'Cheap John Board,' and also a 'Cheap John Wheel.' He said he would call it a 'Wheel of Fortune.' We are of opinion that these facts would constitute this a lottery, within the purview of article 373 of the Penal Code of 1895. If the section of article 5049, above quoted, was intended to license lotteries, then it is clearly unconstitutional and void. The legislature has no authority to license lotteries in Texas, and any attempt on its part to do so would be nugatory.")
  • Randle v. State, 42 Tex. 580, 588-89 (1875) ("Mr. Bishop, in his Treatise on Statutory Crimes, shows, from his reference to numerous decisions of the various courts, that in nearly all the States of the Union, lotteries are prohibited, and those establishing them, or connected with their operations, are punished accordingly; and that the subterfuges by change of name, or plan of operations, have not availed the persons so concerned, as a defense to a prosecution; that the courts have seen through these evasions, and the law has been vindicated and fully enforced against the offenders.")
  • State v. Randle, 41 Tex. 292, 298 (1874) ("In many States of the Union there is, as in our State Constitution, a prohibition against lotteries. The statutes of many of the States are in the like general terms as our statute against lotteries; and looking to the character of the act charged; it being simply a game of chance, and taking it in connection with the articles in the code against gaming, we are satisfied the law is not open to the objections presented. It is as descriptive of the offense as are the articles of the code prohibiting other kinds of gaming . . . .")

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