Some Charitable Thoughts For Charitable Gambling?

Both the St. Cloud Times and KMSP-TV recently reported on the declining fortunes of the state’s charitable gambling industry. While industry insiders are always quick to blame the statewide smoking ban for the decline, they admit that revenues have been declining for years, they are not attracting new, younger customers, and the bad economy hasn’t helped matters. A 2005 report from the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was critical of the charitable gambling industry, noting that only four cents of every dollarspent on pulltabs actually benefited local charities.

What do you think? Does charitable gambling have a future in Minnesota? Is it something you like to do?

2 Comments so far

  1. greg on January 26th, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    The problem with charitable gambling is that organizations tend to rely on that funding like any other annual budget stream. To me, it’s a slippery slope. In Des Moines, the Polk County School System gets funding from a casino owned and operated by the county. It’s a giant cluster. They added more slots to help increase revenue. Then they added poker tables. It’s all in the name of "it’s good for the kids." Give me a break.

  2. minneapolis10 on February 11th, 2009 @ 12:13 am

    OK, it is pretty deceptive as to why only 4% goes to the charity. Here is how a typical charitable gambling program breaks down:

    80% goes to payouts (directly back to the game players)
    10% goes to pay expenses (employees, pulltabs, space rental, etc.)
    6% gets swiped by the State of Minnesota in Taxes
    4% goes to the kids.

    If a charitable gambling outfit ‘profits’ $100,000 in a year, the State receives approximately $180,000.

    Like smoking, the government is addicted to picking off taxes. With charitable gambling, they pick off money in some of the strangest tax regulation you have ever seen (and too convoluted to explain here!).

    The state should cut their take down dramatically to cover costs of monitoring so that the charitable organizations can actually make some money and support their community cause.

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