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Ortt announces legislation so duck derbies can swim on

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Mon, Jul 11th 2016 10:25 am

Bill would allow for charitable gaming on state-owned property

New York State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-C-I-North Tonawanda, today announced legislation (S8166) he is introducing that would allow games of chance to be conducted on state-owned property. Games of chance include raffles like the popular duck derby races that many times are held on the state-owed canal - a violation of current state law.

"Some of the laws in New York state are antiquated and illogical; this general municipal law (189) is one of them," Ortt said. "Events like the duck derbies are raising money for good causes, not malice, and organizations should not be penalized for that just because those events are being held on state property. This law has been on the books for a long time, yet it's scarcely enforced."

This legislation is in response to the cancellation of a duck derby fundraiser in Brockport after state Gaming Commission officials said it violated gaming laws and regulations. The derby, which has been a summer staple for the Brockport Arts Festival for years, consists of raffled toy ducks floating down the Erie Canal, which is state property.

Community Missions recently canceled its annual duck race at Canal Fest of the Tonawandas.

Under current state law, organizations can only hold games of chance or raffle events on their own property or on municipal-owned property. Organizations conducting charitable gaming on state property can be charged with a misdemeanor.

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