Presenter: Darcy Bontempo
Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Internet Sales of Big Time Texas Hunts
I. Executive Summary: This item seeks approval to authorize the sale of entries for the Big Time Texas Hunts at $9, if purchased over the Internet, and authorize the collection of a convenience fee of $5 per Internet transaction.
II. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.0271, the Commission may establish fees for participation in public drawings to select applicants for public hunting privileges. Since 1999, the Big Time Texas Hunts (BTTH) program has been TPWD's most successful entrepreneurial fundraising project. For a $10 fee, anyone can enter to win one of seven prize hunt packages, and TPWD sets no limits on the number of entries. Participants purchase an average of four entries for BTTH. In 2006, TPWD sold more than 78,000 entries and generated significant net revenue. Sponsorship fees also result in additional revenue for the program. In addition to funding the purchase of the hunts, this income has funded wildlife research, habitat management, and public hunting.
The proposed amendments would allow the purchase of BTTH entries at a reduced price of $9 per entry, provided the purchase is made via the department's Internet site. Staff believes that the offer of a reduced price for entries purchased via the Internet will result in an increase in the number of participants and thus sales and revenue since this is the easiest method of purchase and will allow TPWD to promote our partner and other websites at little to no additional cost. Given the rising cost of postage with direct mail, this promotion offers an opportunity to reduce marketing costs in the future.
Staff was authorized at the January 2008 meeting of the Finance Committee to publish the proposed regulations in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposal appeared in the February 22, 2008 issue of the Texas Register (33 TexReg 1490-1491). Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the hearing. All public comments have been taken into consideration prior to staff making its final recommendation.
III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the proposed amendment to 31 TAC §53.10 by adding a fee of $9 for Big Time Texas Hunts entries purchased via the department's Internet site and by authorizing the collection of a convenience fee of $5 per Internet transaction, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the February 22, 2008 issue of the Texas Register."
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