Minnesota Charitable Games Charitable to State Coffers, Not Actual Nonprofits

Minnesota Charitable Games Charitable to State Coffers, Not Actual Nonprofits

Minnesota charitable games are used by roughly 1,200 nonprofits across the Gopher State as a way to grow revenue for the missions of their respective organizations.

But the latest fiscal report on the legalized gambling sector shows that state tax coffers are getting rich, while the actual groups themselves are barely pulling in more money than they deliver to St. Paul.

The Irving Community Club supports youth programs, but their website makes no secret about how they raise money. A Minnesota charitable games bill seeks to help lessen the organization’s tax burden.

The Star Tribune, the largest circulated newspaper in Minnesota, published a story this week showing that nonprofits paid $60.6 million in state taxes last year, while spending $62 million on their charitable work. And while overall the nonprofits engaged in charitable games still came out on top, that wasn’t the case for some groups.

For example, the Irving Community Association was on the hook for $733,000 in state taxes i n2016. But the 501(c)(3) group that supports youth organizations around the Duluth area spent just $306,000 on actual mission programs.

Tax rates vary depending on an organization’s total gambling revenue and which games they offer. Groups pay between 8.5 and 36 percent of their gross receipts on games like pull-tabs and electronic bingo to the state.

Some observers blame the nonprofits for having too much overhead, whil Continue reading

Macau Casinos Get Reprieve on Indoor Smoking Ban

Macau Casinos Get Reprieve on Indoor Smoking Ban

The Macau government is easing its position on smoking inside casinos, and that’s much-welcomed news to resort operators who are desperately trying to stabilize revenues.

Smoking lounges will remain open inside casinos after the Macau government reversed its opinion on making the city a smoke-free territory.

The health bureau’s revision is a win for casinos, as patrons would have otherwise been forced to routinely exit the resort to smoke a cigarette or cigar. However, the agency is also suggesting to the legislature that while lounges should be permitted, special smoking exemptions for VIP rooms and tables should be annulled.

The city’s health bureau has been pushing a citywide indoor smoking ban dating back to July 2015. The effort was in response to the Macau Legislative Assembly passing a bill now seven years ago that set a goal of making the region a tobacco and smoke-free territory. In 2013, smoking inside casinos became restricted to designated lounges.

The office makes suggestions to the government’s legislative arm, and it hopes the chamber will introduce and pass a bill based on its latest recommendations this summer.

Macau’s Health Director Cheang Seng said the reason for his department’s policy change was in part due to a recent survey conducted by the University of Macau that found 55 percent of employees support retaining smoking lounges.

‘We myfreepokies.com cannot ignore this fact,’ Seng explained.

Lounge Modifications

Lounges inside Continue reading

California Mulls Latest Online Poker Bill, with Plenty of Ifs, Ands, or Buts

California Mulls Latest Online Poker Bill, with Plenty of Ifs, Ands, or Buts

The California online poker legislative push is back from the dead, and so is State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Saywer (D-59th District) and his bill. Jones-Sawyer’s attempts to unite warring factions in the state’s gaming industry died in 2014 and 2015, along with his poker bills of those same years, but give the man credit: he doesn’t give up easily.

California State Assemblyman Reggie-Jones Sawyer returns with a new online poker bill, but will he succeed where others, including himself, have failed? Don’t hold your breath.

Undeterred, Jones-Sawyer has presented a new bill, AB 1677, aka the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act, which offers little that’s new, although it does provide a platform to at least reignite the debate.

At the heart of that debate will be the question of suitability. Because online poker will see operators taxed, a bill to regulate it would need two-thirds majority vote to pass in the legislature. This is impossible unless all future stakeholders, mainly pokies online free tribal casinos with political capital and lobbyists, are in agreement.

More of the Same

But blocking that outcome are two diametrically opposed groups of tribal operators, who are determined not to agree on the suitability question.

In one corner, the group that has loosely become known as the Morongo Coalition wants PokerStars to be included in a future market, because it has a commercial deal with the internet giant. In opposi Continue reading