SHERWOOD, AR - Charitable groups can now play bingo and conduct raffles in Arkansas without fear they are breaking the law. The new rules went into effect yesterday. In Sherwood, more than 150 people, armed with bingo cards and dobbers used to mark the cards, filled the Sherwood Moose Lodge as the group began to play. At the Elks Lodge in Jonesboro, organizers prepared for a crowd of about 50 to 60 people. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Russellville plans to start its games tomorrow.
More than 140 charitable groups have been licensed by the state to run bingo games and sell raffle tickets for their causes. Before voters passed a constitutional amendment last year to legalize bingo and raffles and the state Legislature this year passed the game rules, bingo and raffles were considered illegal by many.