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Category Archives: Gambling

Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services …

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Ohio law requires OhioMHAS to promote, assist in the development of, and coordinate or conduct programs for gambling addiction. The constitutional amendment that brought casinos to Ohio also includes OhioMHAS as the authority expected to address problem and pathological gambling. This amendment includes a requirement that two percent of the tax on the casinos gross revenue go to the State Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund to support efforts to alleviate problem gambling and substance abuse and related research in Ohio.

To date, OhioMHAS collaborates with the Ohio Lottery Commission, local communities, alcohol and other drug treatment providers, county ADAMHS Boards, faith-based entities, and others to reduce problem gambling and to establish and improve gambling treatment and prevention services for Ohioans. With funding support from the Ohio Lottery Commission, OhioMHAS funds six problem gambling programs statewide in conjunction with alcohol and other drug addiction treatment services. The programs are in Athens, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, and Youngstown. In addition, OhioMHAS coordinates a one-day problem gambling prevention and treatment conference each year during Problem Gambling Week in March.

Ensuring that the addiction services field is ready and able to serve Ohioans with problem or pathological gambling is another role of OhioMHAS. For this reason, the Department has been providing statewide and regional trainings for addictions counselors so that Ohio has adequate staffing levels to address problem gambling behaviors as they arise.

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Adult Gambling Addiction Tied To Childhood Trauma | HuffPost – HuffPost

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Reuters Health – Men with gambling addictions are more likely than their peers to have endured childhood traumas like physical abuse or violence at home, and treatment needs to address this underlying stressor, researchers say.

They examined survey data on a nationally representative group of 3,025 UK men aged 18 to 64 and found that roughly 5 percent had apparent gambling problems and about 7 percent were serious addicts.

Compared with men who rarely if ever placed wagers, the men with a pathological addiction to gambling were more than twice as likely to have witnessed violence at home or to have experienced physical abuse or assault growing up. They were also more than three times as likely to have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury as kids.

As adults, the men with severe gambling addiction were more likely to experience violence at home and at work; have relationships or marriages fall apart; lose jobs; have serious money problems; become homeless and be convicted of crimes.

Gambling has been suggested as a potential coping mechanism, often among females, said senior study author Dr. Jason Landon of Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Often the view is that males gamble for enjoyment, or to win, and females gamble to escape, he said by email.

Our study is important as it . . . shows that harmful gambling is associated with early and adult trauma – even when alcohol and drug use are controlled for – amongst a representative sample of males, Landon said by email.

For the study, psychologists examined mens survey responses about a variety of factors that can influence whether they develop a tendency to gamble.

Roughly one in four men who were compulsive gamblers, meaning addicts who placed bets regardless of their mood or whether they were winning or losing, witnessed violence as kids, as did 23 percent of the men classified as problem gamblers, the study found.

About 10 percent of compulsive and problem gamblers also experienced physical abuse or assaults as children.

By comparison, only 8 percent of the men without a gambling problem witnessed violence at home growing up and less than 4 percent suffered physical abuse or assault, the study team reports in Addictive Behaviors.

Even after researchers accounted for drug and alcohol dependence, which often accompany gambling addiction, men who were compulsive gamblers were significantly more likely than non-gamblers to have experienced domestic violence in childhood and adulthood as well as job loss, money problems and relationship failures as adults.

The study wasnt a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how childhood traumas may influence the odds of gambling addiction later in life.

Other limitations include a lack of data on arrests or convictions to confirm childhood trauma or violent experiences in adulthood, as well as the possibility that the survey misclassified the gambling habits of some participants, the authors note.

Even so, the findings add to growing evidence linking stressful life experiences to the development of addictions, said Julia Poole, a researcher at the University of Calgary in Canada who wasnt involved in the study.

Individuals with a history of child adversity appear more likely than those without such history to report subsequent disordered gambling as adolescents and adults, Poole, who wasnt involved in the study, said by email.

This doesnt mean, however, that every person with a traumatic childhood will grow up to become a compulsive gambler, Poole said. Emotional regulation, or how well people are able to recognize and alter emotional reactions, may also influence whether addiction develops.

This means that enhancing effective emotional regulation strategies among gamblers who report a history of childhood adversity may help gamblers utilize more-effective coping strategies and live a life free from their addictions, Poole said.

SOURCE:bit.ly/2v5athcAddictive Behaviors, online July 9, 2017.

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Homeowners could be gambling their house in home raffles, authorities warn – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: at 6:44 pm

Paypal, the online payments company, recently stopped people from buying house raffle tickets because the schemes present unusual challenges.

We have seen an increase in the number of people setting up house prize draws in recent years, as homeowners seek new ways of disposing of their property in a challenging housing market.

They are difficult to carry out successfully and carry considerable risks, such as the possibility that the property is not accurately described; or that the draw is not conducted fairly; or that entries are made from countries where such prize draws are unlawful.

Sarah Gardner, the commissions executive director, said: Sometimes what might seem like a competition could be a lottery in law, and that may mean you are operating an illegal lottery. Our advice to people thinking of doing this is to ensure they are compliant with the law and seek legal advice if in any doubt.

For Lucian Cook, head of residential research at the property consultancy Savills, the prospect of these raffles becoming commonplace remains unlikely.

We would consider these so-called raffles to be the last option. I think people will continue to rely on the normal routes to market, a well-established process that works.

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The House Always Wins: The Gambling Drama as an Allegory for Filmmaking – Film School Rejects

Posted: at 6:44 pm

You said that you felt alive for the first time while playing the card table. What do you want me to understand? Joe, inRounders

There are literally hundreds of films about gambling. I think its safe to say that the gambling film is its own genre. I mean, the gambling film even has a monopoly over the city of Las Vegas. And its a genre that might never die out. In fact, Aaron Sorkins directorial debut is an adaptation of a poker memoir.But what makes gambling so cinematic and why will Hollywood never stop making them? For sure, the Hollywood gambling films glamorous aesthetics align with its mission to entertain. Casinos, or at least the ones in James Bond films, overwhelm you with a decked-out decor and beautiful women.

Gambling films are so popular that theyve actually had a direct impact on peoples views of addiction and gambling. And that includes the medical community. In fact,in the movieThe Gambler,the protagonist Axel exhibits the symptoms of a pathological gambler, but pathological gambling was only included in the DSM-III (the American Psychiatric manual) 6 years later.

But first and foremost, lets explore the genre. The gambling drama covers two categories: the heist and the addiction. The heist usually lends itself to sleek ensemble comedy/dramas, like the Oceans Trilogy, in which youre always rooting for the thieves to win. And the addiction drama is usually a character study that sees a man (yes, always a man) risk everything to satisfy their addiction. Films likeFever Pitchfrom 1985 andJoe Swanbergs Netflix OriginalWin I t All are great examples of that.

To look a little closer at the genre,within those categories there are 3 different modes:

Of those 3 types of gambling, the most commonly used on in cinema is by far poker. Most of it has to do with the level of skill required to succeed in poker. Watching someone try their chance at a slot-machine for 90 minutes doesnt translate as well as a suave gentleman playing poker-face cool while engaging in sly repartees with his competition. On top of that, the necessity for self-control in poker heightens both the tension and the characters subjectivity. Usually, the audience can see the players hand, or its a complete surprise. Indeed, poker exhibits a kind of competitive toughness. Whoever loses control and shows face loses. Indeed, gambling films often rely on these gender tropes to sell their glamor or gristle.

Either way, poker and blackjack are the more cinematic of the casino games.

Another reason why the gambling drama is so popular is that it functions as an allegory for filmmaking. The financial pressures of making a film are dramatized in the gambling genre. Doubtless financing a film is usually less life-threatening than losing a few million in blackjack, for instance. But negotiations with studio heads and financiers and producers forces you to develop thick skin. I mean, Harvey Weinstein is called The Punisher for a reason.So yes, financing a film is a gamble. For the studio head and the director. The pressure is both felt and exerted on both sides. But its not a matter if putting your chips in the slot and hoping that something will come of it. So self-revealing dramas about addiction and poor self-control dramatize the art of making a film. As Richard Brody points out in his review ofWin It All,the allegory amplified the necessary skill inyielding control and confronting the compulsions that both motivate and override the rational calculations of moviemaking.

In the heist film, the premise of con-ing the house is a utopian capitalist story, in which the underdogs use teamwork to defeat the bullies of global capitalism. Indeed, though dealing in crime, the heist film presents a very subversive message. TakeOceans 11 as an example. In the film, Danny Ocean is on a mission to defeat the beast of capitalism, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). He assembles a group of 11 talented con artists, whose skills are being squandered elsewhere and promises them eight figures, divided equally. And the values on display in this film are of friendship and loyalty, not greed. And after paying Benedict back inOceans Twelve, they donate his portion to charity because he attempts to steal from the gang. A director like Soderbergh, whom Ive written about before, is both in and out of the Hollywood system. Thus, the ethical heist in Oceans 11almost resembles the financing for his latest feature. How to take the money away from the artless Hollywood bullies and redistribute it among the artists. The House always wins. Until it doesnt.

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Arkansas man accused of operating illegal gambling business, money laundering – Arkansas Online

Posted: at 6:44 pm

FAYETTEVILLE — Robert Enos Rogers, 72, of Rogers is charged with one count of operating an illegal gambling business in his house and one count of money laundering related to that, his arraignment in federal court revealed Friday.

The court unsealed Rogers’ indictment Friday afternoon, after the arraignment. The government charges say Rogers operated a sports-betting business out of his home since at least Jan. 1, 2007. By February of this year, the business had at least five people involved to run it and grossed as much as $2,000 a day.

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Searches by police seized $7,438 from Rogers’ car, $11,257 from his home, $60,000 from a safe-deposit box he rented, $35,000 from another and $61,700 from a third.

Rogers was freed on a $10,000 bond. He faces a maximum possible sentence of five years imprisonment on the gambling charge and also a possible fine of up to $250,000, defense attorney Kimberly Weber said.

The money-laundering charge would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and fine of either $250,000 or up to two times as much money as laundered, Weber said.

He also faces a forfeiture civil lawsuit filed by the government that could lead to the seizure of his family’s home, a lake house in Oklahoma and other assets. That suit was merged Friday with the criminal case, Weber said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann set trial for Oct. 2 in Fayetteville in the court of U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks. A pretrial conference was set for Sept. 27.

Neither Rogers nor Weber had further comment after the 3 p.m. arraignment appearance Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Denis Dean objected to Rogers’ request to be allowed to travel to his lake house. Wiedemann agreed with the objection, saying that would impose too great a task upon the federal officers monitoring Rogers during his release. Rogers has cooperated fully with authorities, Weber said during the proceedings.

A search warrant issued Feb. 3 and related court documents show Rogers and four others who weren’t named were targets of a 10-month investigation of a gambling operation.

The warrant allowed the search and seizure of evidence and property at Rogers’ home, three bank safe-deposit boxes and of a vehicle owned by Rogers. The U.S. attorney also has filed two civil suits to seize Rogers’ home and the lake house, along with other property.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force received information that a person who was a financial adviser was structuring withdrawals from his personal accounts at two banks, court documents say.

Structuring is the purposeful evasion of currency reporting laws and includes the breaking down of a single sum of currency exceeding $10,000 into smaller amounts, the warrant affidavit says. Transactions of more than $10,000 must be reported by banks to federal regulators.

“The total in structured funds, since 2012, exceeds $560,000,” the affidavit says. Court documents identify the financial adviser as a bettor of Rogers’ establishment, not a participant in the enterprise.

Bank records also show at least two wire transfers from the adviser’s account to an account belonging to Rogers, each of at least $20,000, with one each in 2015 and 2016, the affidavit says.

On Oct. 28 investigators “seized four bags of trash from inside the trash can and found the following items which confirm a gambling operation is being conducted from the residence,” the affidavit says, listing both printed and handwritten documents detailing sports betting and “numerous hand-written notes detailing names, phone numbers, dollar amounts and sport teams.”

Rogers listed his house for sale, and investigators found photographs of a metal building on Rogers’ property with what appears to be seven slot machines, the affidavit says. The photographs also show “10 leather chairs, a poker table with several ornate wood boxes lying on top of it, which would appear to contain chips.”

Posing as an interested buyer, an FBI investigator toured the house Nov. 14. The investigator saw slot machines in the property’s metal building along with two safes, each about 5 feet tall, according to the affidavit. Another safe about 3 feet tall with poker chips next to it was found in a bedroom closet.

Seizures of trash on Dec. 8 and 15 found more notes describing gambling transactions. Betting averaged about $1 million a year from 2012 through 2015, the civil forfeiture cases claim.

Metro on 08/19/2017

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MGM Resorts takes on problem gambling with new program – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: at 6:44 pm

MGM Resorts International next month will begin training its 77,000 employees nationwide on the basics of a new responsible gambling program it will roll out in October.

MGM Resorts International will begin training its 77,000 employees nationwide next month on the basics of a responsible gambling program it will roll out in October.

The plan to install GameSense was first announced in February. GameSense was developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corp. and was licensed to MGM for an undisclosed fee.

Company executives identified it as a program designed to take their responsible gaming initiatives to the next level and said it will provide the company touch points to MGM customers before compulsive play becomes an issue for players on the fringe of addictive behavior.

GameSense will have a physical presence in MGMs 10 Southern Nevada properties with the ultimate goal of providing it at casinos in Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and, eventually, Massachusetts, where the company will open a property in Springfield next year.

Regulators in Massachusetts ordered operators in that state MGM, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Penn National Gaming to adopt the GameSense program. Once MGM officials had a look at it, they decided to introduce it companywide.

The objective is to enable customers to have fun within reasonable limits.

Walking a tightrope

Employees will be asked to walk the tightrope of providing resources without being intrusive and to encourage responsible play without making judgments about how a customer plays or attempting to diagnose a problem that may not be there.

Its a difficult undertaking, according to MGM Executive Vice President Alan Feldman, one of the companys top advocates for responsible play.

We should be in the forefront of defining and promoting responsible gaming, Feldman said in a recent interview. Im not suggesting that we dont want to help anyone whos in crisis, because clearly we do.

But defining what someones problem is cant possibly be the realm of casino employees, he said. Its just not right. This is a tough enough thing to define and to diagnose if youre a trained therapist, counselor, psychologist or even psychiatrist. This is a very, very tough subject to face.

Addiction experts say about 2.5 million players suffer a compulsive gambling disorder, with 3 million more considered problem gamblers and 15 million more at risk of becoming problem gamblers. Thats about 2.9 percent of the adult gambling population, although percentages are greater in Nevada, where its estimated that between 2.2 percent and 3.6 percent of players suffer some form of addiction.

Initially, MGM will set up signage and kiosks at its properties with personnel to counsel players about addictive gambling behaviors. As the program develops, MGM officials hope to integrate it into the companys mLife loyalty card program to enable players to set time and spending limits on play and to alert them when they approach the levels they set.

Using player data for research

Another key piece of the program is the companys commitment to donate $1 million over five years to UNLVs International Gaming Institute to conduct research on compulsive gambling using data collected through the GameSense program.

Brett Abarbanel, director of research at the institute, will coordinate the effort. Abarbanels research has included internet gambling policy and behavior, esports and gambling, operations and technology use, and responsible gambling and community relations.

Her department will share its findings with compulsive gambling researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University, with whom UNLV has had long-term relationships.

Feldman said he hopes the research will show how the program changes customer play and how many players set a budget and gamble responsibly.

Right now, we estimate that 75 percent of our customers play responsibly, he said. Maybe we can push that to 80 or 85 percent.

The company also will have to contend with skeptics who jump to the conclusion that we are a predatory industry and we want to suck every last penny out of every guest we see.

Thats just absurd, Feldman said. It isnt how any of us think. It isnt anything that we do on a day-to-day basis. In fact, frankly, its quite the contrary. We far more often are telling people no than we are doing things to encourage people to gamble more.

He said the publics desire to gamble has been proven through 2,000 years of history.

Its not exactly like we have to do anything to encourage them, Feldman said. When they land in Las Vegas, they know where they are, and they know what theyre going to do. Its like standing and watching people get off the plane. One guy comes off and hes going to spend $100, and the next guy comes off and hes going to spend $100,000. As long as theyre both able to afford it and are enjoying it, thats their business and their choice.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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Arkansas man focus of FBI investigation into illegal gambling … – Arkansas Online

Posted: at 6:44 pm

ROGERS — Investigators of a suspected gambling operation found photographs of slot machines on a real estate website when the owner put the house up for sale in November, according to court documents.

Robert E. Rogers of 2711 W. Garrett Road in Rogers is set for arraignment in federal court in Fayetteville at 3 p.m. today, the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed Wednesday.

The case is sealed, and specifics on the charges cannot be released until arraignment, a spokesman for the office said. Rogers’ attorney, Kimberly R. Weber, said she could confirm Rogers is her client and has been under investigation in regards to gambling, but said she couldn’t comment further.

A search warrant issued Feb. 3 and related court documents show Rogers and four others who weren’t named were targets of a 10-month investigation of a gambling operation. The warrant allowed the search and seizure of evidence and property at Rogers’ home, three bank safety deposit boxes and of a vehicle owned by Rogers. The U.S. attorney has also filed two civil suits to seize Rogers’ home and a lake house in Oklahoma, along with other property.

“For approximately the past 10 months, the IRS and the FBI have been receiving information and conducting an investigation of an illegal gambling operation conducted by Robert Rogers and at least four others,” the search warrant affidavit says. The warrant also says investigators believe money laundering transactions are occurring with proceeds from the illegal gambling operations.

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The U.S. Justice Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force received information that a person who was a financial adviser was structuring withdrawals from his personal accounts at two local banks, court documents say. Structuring is the purposeful evasion of currency reporting laws and includes the breaking down of a single sum of currency exceeding $10,000 in to smaller amounts, the warrant affidavit says. Transactions of more than $10,000 must be reported by banks to federal regulators.

“The total in structured funds, since 2012, exceeds $560,000,” the affidavit says. Court documents identify the financial adviser as a bettor of Rogers’ establishment, not a participant in the enterprise.

Bank records also show at least two wire transfers from the adviser’s account to Rogers’ account, each of at least $20,000, with one each in 2015 and 2016, the affidavit says. Rogers had been paying a Pinnacle Bank mortgage loan for a lake house at 64660 E. 253 Lane in Grove, Okla., with cash, according to the affidavit.

On Oct. 28, investigators “seized four bags of trash from inside the trash can and found the following items which confirm a gambling operation is being conducted from the residence,” the affidavit says, listing both printed and hand-written documents detailing sports betting and “numerous hand-written notes detailing names, phone numbers, dollar amounts and sport teams.”

Rogers listed his house for sale, and investigators found photographs of the inside on his real estate agent’s website. The photographs show the interior of a metal building on Rogers’ property with what appears to be seven cherry master style slot machines, the affidavit says. The photographs also show “10 leather chairs, a poker table with several ornate wood boxes lying on top of it, which would appear to contain chips.”

Posing as an interested buyer, an FBI investigator toured the house Nov. 14. The investigator saw slot machines in the property’s metal building along with two safes about five feet tall each, according to the affidavit. Another safe about three feet tall with poker chips next to it was found in a bedroom closet.

Seizures of trash on Dec. 8 and 15found more notes describing gambling transactions. The Dec. 15 records included National Football League betting sheets and detailed notes of horse races and whether a bet was placed, the affidavit says. Another seizure of trash on Jan. 19 found more such records along with betting sheets for college football.

Betting averaged about $1 million a year from 2012 through 2015, the civil forfeiture cases claim.

Metro on 08/18/2017

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Bitcoin Casinos: The Growing Uptake of Bitcoin Gambling – Live Bitcoin News

Posted: at 6:44 pm

Online casinos have always been at the forefront of new technology and innovation, quick to respond to changing dynamics. Pioneers of the industry are constantly pushing the boundaries, trying out new adaptations to the tried and tested model. Mobile gambling is arguably the biggest of these recent trends to overtake online gambling, and today, mobile accounts for the fastest growth form of remote gambling.

Now, with the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, casinos are faced with a new choice: whether to embrace this growing technology now, or whether to hold off as it becomes more established. With early movers already fully behind bitcoin gambling, its up to the big boys of the industry to make their move and there are already some promising indications from the very top.

So what are the factors running through the minds of casino operators when deciding whether to support bitcoin gambling? Moreover, is bitcoin ready as a currency to be embraced by the online gambling sector?

If youve not come across bitcoin before, its essentially a digital currency, created and stored on a distributed ledger known as the blockchain. Packets of data are assigned a financial value which is established in a market environment, and all transactions of those packets, known as bitcoins, are recorded on the ledger to ensure accuracy and accountability. And because the records are held in a distributed ledger, they are not controlled by any one entity no banks or governments are involved.

Instead, these transactions are stored across multiple different locations, meaning the ledger is robust, independent and secure to external threats. With the pricing decided by independent buying and selling activity, like any other market, and supply limited to the number of bitcoin data strings that can be mined, bitcoin has all of the elements necessary to operate as a currency in its own right.

Today, after years of trading in bitcoin, this emerging currency is becoming more stable and transparent, and indeed shows some signs of becoming less volatile, as more investors weigh in to determining fair market price. With more people now transacting in bitcoin online, its becoming an increasingly difficult payment method to ignore for those who operate casinos.

There have been a few key reasons why casinos have been traditionally reluctant to get on board with bitcoin. In the early stages, it was difficult to predict whether or not bitcoin would take off. This weird, alternative currency initially seemed fairly niche, and even today, it remains far from a mainstream payment method. So for casinos to set out their stall as accepting deposits in bitcoin would have perhaps been premature.

Over the last few years, bitcoin has grown from strength to strength, and it has been the worlds best performing currency for the last two years. Yet while it has proved popular, there are other reasons that have prevented a wholesale adaptation of the bitcoin namely price transparency, and legitimacy.

Casinos have been understandably reluctant to get involved in a currency that swings violently in value, sometimes even within the course of a single day. Accepting deposits in bitcoin could mean casinos being exposed to significant currency risk, a threat that has been seen as too significant for casinos to bear until now.

Further, with some uncertainty as to the levels of liquidity and transparency in bitcoin, as a new emerging asset class, casinos are not alone when it comes to businesses taking their time to decide on bitcoin.

Bitcoin is moving from strength to strength, and continues to gain credibility and legitimacy by the day. As the market starts to level out and settle around more stable price ranges, companies across a range of sectors are opening up to the possibility of accepting bitcoin.

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State ups the ante for charitable gambling – Post-Bulletin

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:40 am

As gambling manager of Rochester Juvenile Hockey Association, Mark Hickey has watched as state taxes continue to take a bigger bite out of the charity’s profits.

In fact, the group spends far more on taxes than it does on its charitable mission, which includes helping pay for the Graham 4 hockey arena. From July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, the nonprofit donated $178,000 raised from paper and electronic pull-tabs. It paid out $461,000 in state taxes.

“We’re just trying to do our part, but the taxes are overwhelming,” said Hickey, who also serves on the Rochester City Council.

Charitable gambling groups are sounding the alarm over what they see as an unfair tax system. Allied Charities Executive Director Al Lund went so far as to pen a tongue-in-cheek obituary for charitable gambling in the state, writing “charitable gambling will now be known as The State of Minnesota Charity. Details are yet to be worked out, but beneficiaries of past charitable donations will need to go to St. Paul to ask for help.”

Lund said that based on preliminary estimates he expects Minnesota charitable gambling groups in 2017 will for the first time pay more in state taxes than they donate to their causes.

“What I keep telling the Legislature is you are strangling the goose,” Lund said. “At some point, the groups are going to say en masse, ‘We’re done.'”

Allied Charities has organized meetings across the state to talk about the issue, including one at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at American Legion Post No. 92 in Rochester. The group wants state law changed so organizations’ charitable donations are no longer taxed.

Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, is sponsoring a bill to do just that. She said it is time that these groups raising money for local charities get some tax relief.

“It’s not fair. That’s the only business in our state that has to pay taxes on its charitable donations,” she said.

A tough sell with a big price tag

But efforts to pass the bill stalled last session, despite bipartisan support. One major reason is the bill’s cost. The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates the charitable tax exemption would cost the state upwards of $28 million per year. House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids said there is another roadblock charities face in convincing lawmakers to get on board.

“There are some folks that say, ‘This is supposed to be a revenue raiser for the state,'” Davids said.

The Preston Republican lawmaker wants to see charitable gambling taxes lowered, but said it has been a tough sell in St. Paul.

So will charitable gambling groups have paid out more in state taxes than donations in fiscal year 2017? Gary Danger, a compliance officer with the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, said it is too early to know for sure. Final numbers will not be available until October or November.

“We know that sales far exceed anything that we’ve seen in 30 years. But there’s a lot of other things that have to be factored in yet before we can find out the rest of the story,” Danger said.

Preliminary numbers show charitable gambling groups had sales of $1.72 billion for fiscal year 2017. That’s up from $1.5 billion the year before. Of that money, more than 83 percent was paid out in prize money. So far, Danger said he hasn’t seen a drop in the number of groups doing charitable gambling. It has held fairly steady at about 1,100.

Roughly 92 percent of all charitable gambling in the state is in the form of paper or electronic pull tabs. In 2012, lawmakers overhauled the state’s charitable tax system to help pay for the Minnesota Vikings stadium. Under state law, charities pay taxes on money raised minus prizes paid called net receipts. The tax rate climbs as profits’ net receipts increase from a low of 9 percent to a high of 36 percent. All tax revenues above $36.9 million are automatically deposited into the stadium reserve fund.

Rod Toomey, gambling manager for the Rochester Eagles Club, said it’s frustrating to see more and more money going to the state for taxes. In fiscal year 2016, the club donated $61,100 to charities but paid nearly twice that amount in taxes. Luckily for the Eagles, sales have continued to climb. But Toomey worries what happens if sales stagnate or decline.

“At some point, this unfair tax structure is really hurting the charities,” Toomey said.

As for Hickey, he said he would be happy to see any sort of a tax break to enable charities to donate more. Even dropping the top tax rate from 36 percent to 27 percent would be a big help.

He added, “It would just really help our bottom line. We’d have more money to contribute to our charitable purpose.”

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Gambling News, Conferences & iGaming Industry Analysis …

Posted: August 8, 2017 at 4:39 am

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Gambling News, Conferences & iGaming Industry Analysis …

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