Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Letter to the Editor: SB143 Is A Pull In The Right Direction

Senate Bill would open more charitable giving from member organizations


This commentary is provided by William Jennings, an officer of the American Legion Post 118, Rio Rancho. Submit your letter to the editor by emailing

Seemingly unnecessary - given the DNA of their membership - American Legions, VFW’s, and Moose Lodges are required to appropriate 18.9% of their annual net revenue to charitable entities across the state.

For as long as I can remember Boys State and Girls State have been educating and preparing New Mexico’s youth for careers in public service. Self-determination and community support - largely buttressed by the good folks at the many American Legions around the state - combine to make this work possible. Members of American Legions inherently draw on their experience as public servants themselves and have proven out to be altruistic partners in the eduction and preparation of the young men and women preparing for a life of service in government.

SB 143 stands to be the catalyst for padding charitable coffers statewide as it proposes to allow not-for-profit gaming operations to access machines currently prohibited outside of Casinos and Racinos. Under current law not-for-profits may not offer their members access to machines that produce jackpots above $4,000.00. SB 143’s proposal to allow American Legions et al to advertise to their members progressive jackpot payouts above $4,000.00 will undoubtedly have a positive impact on a myriad of New Mexico charities. 

SB 143 does not violate any provision of the Gaming Compacts nor does it expand gaming’s footprint in the state. HB does, however, allow members of not-for-profit operations to access the latest machines that every adult citizen of New Mexico may access in every public gaming operation in our state.


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