What does the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming do?

What does the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming do?


The Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming has two main goals: to arm Tennesseans with the information they need about charities that want their donations and to become a resource for nonprofits operating across the state. Some people only learn about the division when working with a nonprofit. But the information kept here is meant to help all Tennesseans. “I was wondering if you had your financial information ready?” Compliance Analysts help nonprofits and professional solicitors file documents required by state law. That same information can quickly tell consumers if an organization is registered or exempt and even reveal crucial financial information. “You can go and see what the organization actually brings in as far as the revenue and then go through their expenses.” The first step is getting organizations that accept or solicit charitable dollars to register. But what happens when one won’t? The division’s investigators travel the state to protect Tennesseans who are consistently ranked as some of the most generous and giving people in the nation. “The division is basically a consumer protection agency. That’s what we do.” The investigators check-up on a wide range of things, like seeing if businesses that aren’t registered are actually operating or if donation bins have the right labeling that offers the public multiple ways to contact the organizations collecting donations. “If there’s questions about this there’s a contact address, there’s a contact email, there’s a contact phone number where they can go to get additional information.” All of the information the division collects ensures organizations operating in Tennessee follow the Charitable Solicitations Act and lets them weed out the ones that won’t file or may try to mislead donors. “There are remedies in the law where there might be a civil penalty or other enforcement action. That’s not our first choice, but the law provides it in those instances.” The division also works charity regulators in all other states and the Federal Trade Commission to stop rampant scams by organizations that are using donors’ money for their own benefit. “At every turn, they chose to help themselves over the people they claimed to be helping.” More than a million Tennesseans play fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Act requires operators that charge fees to play daily and season-long contests obtain a license with the division. Regulations include protection of minors and inexperienced players, maintaining player funds in segregated accounts and submitting financial and compliance audits to the division. Operators who don’t follow the law could face fines up to $25,000 per violation. Qualified 5-0-1-c-(3) charities and 5-0-1-c-(19) veteran organizations can submit applications to the division to host gaming events, like raffles. The events must be approved by the General Assembly. Financial reports along with a list of prize winners must also be submitted to the division. Information on that and much more is all available online. “The Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming strives to be a resource for nonprofits and most importantly consumers. If you ever have questions about a charitable organization, professional solicitor or an annual gaming event operating in Tennessee contact the division by calling area code (615) 741–2555 or going to sos.tn.gov/Charitable. For more information on Fantasy Sports call (615) 253–6658 or go to sos.tn.gov/FantasySports.”

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