The Politics of Cow Chip Bingo

From the budget to the debate over paid sick leave and decriminalizing marijuana, the General Assembly has been hard at work this session on some incredibly serious legislation that will impact Connecticut residents for years to come. 

But, as the CT Mirror reports, there is one bill being debated in the waning days of the session that goes way beyond taxes and spending; cow chip bingo. 

Never heard of cow chip bingo -- cow chip raffle

It's a game, where contestants try to guess which spot in a marked off field will earn a special present from an accommodating cow. 

Apparently some questions have arisen over the rules and regulations of the game that's often used to raise money for charity. 

"Even though these may sound comical to some people, they're in the bill because they are important to some people," Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford, co-chairwoman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said. "If you are the person who bought a ticket in a cow chip raffle, you want to know how it's being played."

The Cow Chip Bingo bill is one of a handful of lower-profile measures that are part of the new $40 billion budget. The debate centers around the maximum prize that can be awarded in a bingo game, as well as whether certain groups can hold games without a permit. 

But it's not just Cow Chip Bingo that's got the gaming attention of lawmakers, there's also Tea Cup Raffles. Right now, organizations that run the raffles need to get official ticket sheets from the Division of Revenue Services. The new budget would dissolve that decision.

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