Philly Churches Suspend Lotteries

Tuesday, August 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Several Roman Catholic churches in the Philadelphia archdiocese will shut down their lotteries after questions were raised about their legality.

Lawyers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are reviewing the lotteries, used by some parishes to fund parish or school expenses.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported July 12 that several parishes running high-stakes games of chance appeared to violate state gambling laws.

State law allows fraternal and charitable groups to raise money with specified small games of chance that offer limited prizes. Lotteries, however, are not among those games.

St. George Church in suburban Glenolden, Pa., takes in about $168,000 each year — 14 percent of its budget — from its lottery.

``People were upset it was coming to an end,'' said the Rev. Michael P. McCormac, who announced the suspension to parishioners Sunday.

Spokeswoman Cathy Rossi said the archdiocese doesn't keep track of the number of lotteries being run or the amount they raise.

Prosecutors said they have never received a complaint about church lotteries.