Charities lose slots earnings
Until a decision was made to fix the amount of gaming revenue contributed to charities in the annual government budget, the major beneficiaries of gambling revenue were charities, which received more than the operating companies.
Now the contribution to charities is fixed, and it is increased only by the cost of living, while the revenue to both operators and government has gone up dramatically.
Specifically referring to bingo licensees, their “earnings” from bingo are in fact a grant that is not affected one way or the other by the revenue generated at the bingo hall, regardless of suggestions in press releases that they will.
The true beneficiaries will be the hall operator and government.
In 2002, there were 3,000 slot machines in B.C., and the net revenue from casino operations to government was $300 million.
Currently there are over 5,000 slot machines, and the net is projected to be $525 million.
This year there will be over 8,000 slots machines if BCLC plans are fulfilled, and the net to government is projected to be over $700 million, with no projected increase to charities beyond cost of living.
This means that although the Lottery Corporation and the operators love to parade charities whenever they are proposing to put in slot machines, there is not one cent of the increased funds available for charitable purposes as a result, unless the local municipality opts to share their cut.
The implied threat is that charities affiliated with bingo halls will be hurt if slot machines are not approved.
In fact, all charities that receive funds through bingo affiliation receive grants that are not affected one way or the other by revenue generated at the hall.
For proof of this, look at the Public Safety and Solicitor General website under “where the money goes.” Bingo affiliation is clearly listed as a “grant.” I suggest people think about this when they are asked to allow slot machines in bingo halls.
What benefit comes to a community when slot machines take over bingo?
Is a for-profit bingo hall an amenity that somehow must be preserved?
It is time to demand a share of the profits for charities, and now, when slots are being proposed for Newton Bingo, is an ideal time to do so.