There are big changes coming in how school booster clubs exist and operate.

Mike Hromyak, athletic director, Tamaqua Area School District, updated the board of directors Tuesday regarding major changes effective March 3, per the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The changes initially apply to booster club 50-50 drawings.

For instance, the Small Games of Chance policy will require that the school district apply for just one license at a cost of $100. Previously, all booster clubs purchased their own license for that same amount.

"Now we can only have one license. We can only approve one to be used by a group of booster clubs," explained Hromyak.

In addition, the state will require that only one checking account be maintained. The clubs must keep detailed, accurate records of monies raised and exactly how the funds were raised.

In addition, the school board will serve as the governing body. There will be only one president, secretary and treasurer listed for the account, and each officer must pass a background check.

No longer will the term 50-50 be used. Instead, it must be called a raffle, with a $1,000 maximum prize.

"We also will have to keep track of those who win," said Hromyak, who noted that booster clubs brought in about $14,000 in income over the past three years, monies invested back into the programs. Hromyak said booster clubs collect about $3,000 to $4,000 per year in raffles.

While the initial changes pertain only to Small Games of Chance, it is expected that booster clubs soon will no longer be operated independent of school districts. Tamaqua Area School District Superintendent Carol Makuta said the expectation is for booster clubs to become accountable to the district, as per new regulations.