York D.A. warns that quarter auctions are illegal in Pa.
District Attorney Tom Kearney announced Thursday his office will prosecute cases involving quarter auctions.
Kearney said the auctions are illegal and can be prosecuted under the law. although they are legal in some states, they are illegal in Pennsylvania.
“Most direct sales business owners might not even realize that this marketing tool is illegal in Pennsylvania, which is why as district attorney, I believe it is important to warn people before they unknowingly host an illegal event,” he said. “We don’t want to prosecute these kinds of offenses, but we will.”
A quarter auction is a multi-vendor marketing tool to promote direct sales businesses while also benefiting a local charity, Kearney said.
At the auction, recipients bid on items by putting a quarter in a bucket. the recipient will place a chip with an identifying number on it in a second bucket.
A participating vendor will pull a numbered chip from a separate bucket. the chip matching the chip a vendor pulls wins that item, not the highest bidder. That’s what Kearney said makes the game illegal – winners are selected by pure chance.
Sanctioned forms of gambling in Pennsylvania are activities pursuant to the Race Horse Industry Reform Act, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gambling Acts and the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act; Bingo and the Pennsylvania Lottery.
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