Photo By Bruce Crummy
The Team Makers 50/50 raffle has become synonymous with football and men’s basketball games. We hold our collective breath as Dan Michaels reads off the winning ticket number during the third quarter. Whoever happens to win that week is entitled to half of the pot collected that day. Why just half? Why not the whole thing?
Whether you are aware of it or not, the other half of that pot is going directly to Team Makers and NDSU athletic scholarships specifically. This is a sector of Team Makers called charitable gaming. Team Makers does this in accordance with the North Dakota Games of Chance Laws and Administrative Rules.
This charitable gaming is another creative way for Team Makers to gather funds for Bison athletic scholarships. Everyone loves to win money and with Team Makers 50/50 raffles at each home football and men’s basketball game, Bison fans are given the opportunity to win money. All they have to do is simply purchase a chosen number of raffle tickets. As soon as they pay their raffle entry fee, half of it goes to NDSU athletic scholarships through Team Makers.
Team Makers also offers games of chance at various establishments in Fargo and West Fargo. There, Bison fans can charitably game while simultaneously giving to Team Makers.
We went under the hood a bit to learn more about Team Makers charitable gaming with Team Makers Gaming Manager Rick Stenseth.
What kind of impact does charitable gaming have on Team Makers and NDSU Athletics?
We are only a part of the greater effort to provide scholarship opportunities in support of our athletic programs. In addition to generating dollars for student-athletes, we represent Team Makers in the gaming industry and are considered to be an excellent provider of charitable gaming here in North Dakota.
Team Makers has conducted gaming since 1993 and has seen continued growth over many years. Gaming has contributed approximately $500,000 to Team Makers’ efforts each of the last two years and we look forward to seeing that number increase in the future.
How impactful is the 50/50 raffle specifically for NDSU athletic scholarships?
The 50/50 began over a decade ago and due to the many dedicated fans of the Bison, each 50/50 Raffle at a football game now provides between 80-90 percent of a full scholarship. That means these past number of years, including the playoff games, the 50/50 has produced funds for eight plus scholarships each year.
We have seen expanding participation in the 50/50 each year and there is potential for even greater funding. For example, we raised a pot of $90,000 for the Butler game in Minneapolis and had to stop selling as the system they were using was unable to handle all the demand. The 50/50 is a great way for every fan to play a part in helping the student-athletes and teams.
Bison fans can play “games of chance” at various establishments in the Metro. What kind of “games of chance” can people partake in?
Bison fans who are at least 21 years of age may wager on all the games we offer at each location. We conduct games allowed by North Dakota Charitable Gaming Laws and Administrative Rules and are regulated by the Gaming Division of the ND Attorney General’s Office.
Games we play include; Twentyone, paper pull-tabs (at jar bars and dispensing devices), electronic pull tabs, paddlewheel, bingo, raffles (50/50 and traditional and we occasionally hold poker tournaments.
Are there certain goals Team Makers wishes to hit each year with charitable gaming? If so, might that be?
In the gaming industry, it is difficult to set any such goals. Gaming is unique as games are based on odds. We cannot set a certain profit margin as with traditional business and then strive to meet such a standard. It is our responsibility to conduct all games honestly and professionally, giving each player an equal opportunity to win. Our revenue is based mostly on the volume of activity. As such, we are always looking to expand the number of players and keep that patronage coming back.
Are you looking to add more establishments to your list of places participating in charitable gaming?
Currently, we offer gaming in Fargo at the Holiday Inn, Lucky’s 13, Frank’s Lounge, Big Erv’s at Rose Creek, in addition to the Dome and SHAC for 50/50 raffles. In West Fargo, we operate at Hooligans, Bar Code, and Ole & Lena’s Pizzeria.
We are always interested in speaking with interested bar owners to explore opportunities. There are limits to what we are able to do, either by City Code or by the financial viability of a particular location for gaming.
Can only Team Makers participate in charitable gaming at an event or an establishment? Or is it open to all NDSU fans too?
Anyone of age may wager at any of our locations and play all games. We welcome not only Team Makers and all the fans, but local people who wish to stop by and play. This includes those who are visiting the area, even the fans of the teams that come to play us.
Which Locations Offer Team Makers Charitable Gaming?
3803 13th Ave S, Fargo
2640 52nd Ave S, Fargo
Lucky’s 13 Pub
4301, 17th Ave S, Fargo
Big Erv’s at Rose Creek
1500 East Rose Creek Pkwy S, Fargo
509 32nd Ave W, West Fargo
Ole & Lena’s
3330 Sheyenne St, West Fargo
Barcode Bar & Grill
835 23rd Ave E, West Fargo
50/50 Raffle takes place at each home football and men’s basketball game.
In accordance with Section 99-01.3-02-03 (4), all information and records regarding the conduct of Team Makers charitable gaming are available for review at our gaming offices by appointment.
For more information call 701-277-9271