Moorestown says Bingo!

By AUBRIE GEORGE | The Moorestown Sun

Moorestown’s non-profit organizations will now be allowed to hold games of chance after a referendum vote during this year’s general election changes a statute that prohibits them from doing so.

According to unofficial results released by Burlington County, 5,403 registered voters made it out to the polls during this year’s general election.

On this year’s ballot, two separate referendum question asked Moorestown voters if nonprofit organizations should be allowed to hold games of chance.

One questions asked residents if bingo should be allowed, the other raffles.

According to the unofficial results, 3,550 voters said, “yes” to ballot question number one and 1,853 voters said “no”.

To ballot question number two, 3,546 voters said, “yes” while 1,868 said “no”.

Before this year’s election, a state statute was in place that prohibits

fund-raising events that involve games of chance, including bingo and raffles,

At Council’s Aug. 10 Council meeting, Township Clerk Patricia Hunt said the only way to change the current statute is by petition from residents or through a Council decision to place a referendum on the general election ballot.

At the same meeting, Council passed a resolution to allow a referendum question to go on the general election ballot asking residents if qualified nonprofits should be allowed to hold games of chance.

Council also approved an ordinance that allowed the change to go into immediate effect should voters decide games of chance should be allowed.

The change will now apply to organizations or associations of veterans of any war in which the United States has been engaged, churches or religious congregations and religious organizations, charitable, educational and fraternal organizations, civic and service clubs, senior citizen associations and clubs, officially recognized volunteer fire companies and officially recognized volunteer first aid or rescue squads, according to the ordinance.