Allied Charities of Minnesota

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  • 10 Jan 2021 14:20 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    January 8, 2021

    Questions and Answers Regarding Resumption of Lawful Gambling Indoors

    Bingo Halls

    Question:  If bingo is conducted at a location where the primary business is the conduct of bingo (“bingo hall”), what is the site’s capacity limit under Executive Order 21-01?

    Answer:  Under the executive order, a bingo hall is considered to be a “venue providing indoor events and entertainment”.  Capacity is limited to 25% of the normal occupant capacity, not to exceed 150 people in the entire facility.  “Normal occupant capacity” means the applicable lawful capacity as established by state or local authorities in accordance with established codes and requirements.  This number may be higher than what your organization normally considers to be a “full” when the site is set up for the conduct of bingo.

    Keep in mind that on-site food and beverage consumption is prohibited after 10:00 pm and all social distancing requirements must be enforced.

    Meat Raffles

    Question:  When bars reopen for indoor drinking and dining on January 11, may meat raffles be conducted?

    Answer:  Yes. Meat raffles (awarding packages of meat as a paddlewheel, raffle, or tipboard prize) are allowed provided that they’re conducted in compliance with all social distancing and executive order requirements.

    Paddlewheel with a Table (“Tri-wheel”)

    Question:  When bars reopen for indoor drinking and dining on January 11, may paddlewheel with a table be conducted?

    Answer:  Yes.  Paddlewheel with a table is allowed provided that it’s conducted in compliance with all social distancing and executive order requirements.


  • 07 Jan 2021 11:33 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    ARROW INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS WITH PLATINUM EQUITY TO ACCELERATE GROWTH

    CLEVELAND (January 7, 2021) – Arrow International, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of charitable gaming products, has announced today that is has partnered with Platinum Equity to ensure its continued and expanded industry leadership.

    Founded in 1967, Arrow is the leading supplier of pull tabs, electronic pull tabs, bingo products and electronic bingo devices for charity. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Arrow has approximately 1,000 employees across four manufacturing facilities and a network of 40+ distribution facilities.

    The Gallagher family has retained a meaningful equity interest in the business and will continue to serve in leadership roles as part of the company’s management team.

    “Arrow has built a successful business through a combination of product innovation, customer service and entrepreneurial drive,” said Platinum Equity Managing Director Dan Krasner. “We look forward to joining forces with the Gallagher family, investing in growth and providing the operational tools the company needs to maximize its potential.”

    Arrow’s products help generate billions of revenue for charities, lotteries, tribes and non-profits, raising funds for a broad range of causes, including veterans clubs, fraternal organizations, local fire departments and first responders, children’s sports, religious organizations, healthcare causes, booster clubs and other community groups.

    “This is great news for our company, our customers and the future of our business,” said John Gallagher, Jr. “We sought a partner with the financial resources and operational know-how to help accelerate our growth, and a proven track record working with founders to take family-owned businesses to the next level. With Platinum’s partnership and support, we can accelerate our acquisition strategy, expand our product offerings and continue investing in technology and people, while maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit that has defined our culture for over 50 years. We are very excited about the opportunities that await us over our next 50 years.”

    The Arrow / Platinum combination has commenced and is in the process of obtaining final regulatory approvals.

    About Platinum Equity

    Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $23 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 25 years, Platinum Equity has completed more than 300 acquisitions.


  • 07 Jan 2021 09:09 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    January 6, 2021

    Resuming the Conduct of Lawful Gambling at Sites Now Open for Indoor On-site Eating and Drinking

     

    In accordance with Executive Order 21-01, effective Monday, January 11 at 12:00 AM, the following restrictions affect lawful gambling above and beyond those restrictions in existing statute, executive order, and rule:

     

    1. Business Hours – Lawful gambling may be conducted until 10:00 p.m. each day;
    2. Capacity – In places of public accommodation (including bars, restaurants, and bingo halls), capacity is limited to 50% of the location’s normal capacity limits;
    3. These lawful gambling activities must be conducted in compliance with all applicable statutes, executive orders and rules, as well as Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

     

    Restart Checklist

    Gambling managers are encouraged to use the Gambling Control Board’s “Checklist for Lawful Gambling Restart” as a to-do list for restarting lawful gambling activity at their sites.

     

    Paused Games

    In conformance with Executive Order 21-01 organizations, on January 11, 2021 organizations may resume play of games that were “paused” when Executive Order 20-99 went into effect on November 20, 2020.

     

    Restarting Paused Paper Pull-tab Games

    To resume play of a paused paper pull-tab game:

    1. Paused games may only be placed back into play at the site where they were originally in play.
    2. Audit the game (count the unsold and winning tickets).  The results of your audit should be identical to the game audit that was conducted when the game was paused.  If the amounts of your current game audit vary from the amounts of the November audit, close the game and report the results on your January monthly reports.
    3. Withdraw the game’s starting cash bank amount from your gambling bank account and place it in the game’s cash drawer at your site.
    4. When the game’s cash proceeds and starting cash bank were deposited into the gambling account in November, the amount taken for deposit should have been recorded in the “Funds added/removed” column of the game’s LG861 tracking form.  The “$ Cash out” column should then have been recorded as “$0”.  When placing money back into the game’s cash drawer, enter the amount added in the “Funds added/removed” and the “$ Cash out” columns.

     

    Restarting Paused Electronic Pull-tab Games

    1. Coordinate with the electronic-game distributor to resume play of paused electronic pull-tab games.
    2. In November, the amount taken for deposit should have been recorded on the LG861e in Column G (“Amount removed from cash drawer for deposit”). Double-check the LG861e form for November 2020 to ensure that it was completed correctly.
    3. Start a new LG861e form for January 2021.  Once the electronic game starting cash back has been placed into the cash drawer, enter that amount in Column B (“Amount in cash drawer at start of business day”).


  • 06 Jan 2021 14:53 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Today Governor Walz announced a loosening of restrictions. Bars and restaurants will be able to open for indoor dining on 01/11/2021 at 50% capacity. Dine-in service must end by 10 pm (10 pm curfew). 150 persons maximum. Maximum of six people per table, six feet apart. Bar seating will be allowed for two people, with six feet spacing between groups. Masked required to be in use when not eating or drinking. Reservations are required. 

  • 06 Jan 2021 10:38 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Press Release

    Pollard Banknote Announces The Acquisition Of Compliant Gaming

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba, December 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote” or the “Company”) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement, and closed the transaction, to purchase (“Acquisition”) 100% of the equity of Compliant Gaming LLC (“Compliant”), a leading provider of electronic pull‐tab gaming systems and products to the charitable gaming market.

    Compliant was founded in 2014 and offers a broad range of game content and system support in the growing area of electronic gaming and are currently the second largest supplier in the fast‐growing Minnesota market. Key to their success has been a robust technology platform and engaging game content.

    Electronic pull‐tabs were first introduced in Minnesota in 2012 to assist charitable organizations in fundraising and to help the state in funding the development of the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Experienced in bars and restaurants, electronic pull‐tabs in Minnesota provide a gaming experience played on portable tablets, which are provided by the establishment to its customers. Since its start 8 years ago, this market for electronic pull‐tabs has grown exponentially, starting from zero in 2012 to generating almost $100 million USD in net gaming receipts (revenue less prize payouts) in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. It has been the fastest growing segment of the Minnesota charitable gaming market for the past 5 years.

    The acquisition of this technology for the charitable gaming market provides a new solution offering for our portfolio as Compliant’s portable, tablet‐based product is a strong complement to our Diamond Game kiosk‐based technology. Compliant brings a successful operation in the Minnesota market while positioning us strategically for new jurisdictions looking to enter the electronic side of the charitable gaming market, whether it be by tablet or kiosk.

    “We are very excited to be bringing the Compliant technology and market presence into our charitable gaming business and believe this will provide us with a valuable new product to help maintain Pollard’s leading presence in this market,” stated John Pollard, Co‐Chief Executive Officer of Pollard Banknote. “The impressive success the Compliant team has achieved in such a short period of time in Minnesota reflects the customer focus that is consistent with our own strategic approach, and we believe there is considerable opportunity for additional growth in this state. In addition, more and more jurisdictions are looking at alternative products and solutions to provide fundraising opportunities for local charities and we feel Compliant’s solutions provide an attractive alternative for good causes in new markets.”

    Frederick Reis, Founder of Compliant, stated “Compliant’s unique electronic pull‐tab and integrated bingo system is complementary to Pollard’s leadership position in the charitable gaming market, and Compliant’s expertise will enhance Pollard’s broad offering of charitable gaming products to customers throughout North America. We look forward to joining the Pollard team and to continuing to deliver our signature personal commitment to our customers and industry leading solutions for electronic gaming.”

    The total Acquisition purchase price is $19.0 million U.S. dollars (approximately $24.3 million CDN dollars using an exchange rate of $1.28 CDN dollar per U.S. dollar), prior to standard working capital adjustments and potential future earn‐out payments based on certain EBITDA targets. The purchase price was funded from existing Pollard Banknote cash resources and availability under our existing senior credit facilities. The Acquisition is expected to be accretive to Pollard Banknote’s net income prior to amortization of related purchase price accounting adjustments. The acquisition of Compliant has closed and is not contingent on any approvals or financing.

    The Compliant business will join our existing complement of charitable gaming focused businesses, including our Diamond Game eGaming business unit and our combined American Games and International Gamco paper‐based operations, in providing an extensive portfolio of products and solutions to charities across North America.

    John Pollard concludes, “In addition to retail excellence and outstanding games, digital innovation is a cornerstone of Pollard’s strategic objectives and the acquisition of Compliant further expands our digital expertise. Pollard Banknote is committed to expanding our leadership role in the charitable gaming market and focusing on technology‐based solutions that meet our strategic objectives as well as generating a strong financial return. We are honoured the Compliant team has joined us and we look forward to continuing their strong record of growth.”

    About Pollard Banknote

    Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games, Schafer Systems and Fastrak retail merchandising solutions, and a full suite of digital offerings, ranging from world-class mkodo game apps to comprehensive player engagement and iLottery solutions, including strategic marketing and management services. The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes. Pollard Banknote also provides pull-tab tickets, bingo paper, and its Diamond Game and Oasis-branded electronic ticket machines to charitable and other gaming markets in North America. Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 67.5% by the Pollard family and 32.5% by public shareholders, and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

    Forward-looking Statements

    Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking” statements and information, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. When used in this document, such statements include such words as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” and other similar terminology. These statements reflect management’s current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this document. There should not be an expectation that such information will in all circumstances be updated, supplemented, or revised whether as a result of new information, changing circumstances, future events, or otherwise. -30-


  • 05 Jan 2021 07:47 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    It is being reported that Governor Walz will announce loosening of restrictions on indoor dining tomorrow, Wed. January 6, at a 2 pm news conference. No other details are currently available.

    The GCB issued their FY20 annual report in November of 2020. In December they issued the individual organization numbers that can be seen under the Reports and Legislation tab on their website. That is the report that I use to do a deeper dive into the numbers. 

    Using the numbers in the report of all organizations, I found the following:

    Payout across all organizations averaged 84.9%. Highest was 90.5%. 359 organizations (31.8% of us) were 85% or higher.

    As a group we got 3 cents to the bottom line for missions for every dollar wagered, which is a decrease of over 16% from FY19. In the past two fiscal years we have lost 22% of our ability to serve on a per dollar wagered basis.

    The average cost of doing business was 12.1 cents on every dollar sold. 

    We had 34 orgs (3% of us) that lost money on every sale. I'm sure that there were some extenuating circumstances, but that is still hard to wrap your arms around.

    We had 66 organizations (5.8% of us) make less than 1 cent per dollar wagered.

    We had 168 organizations (15% of us) make less than 2 cents per dollar wagered.

    We had 367 organizations (32% of us) make less than 3 cents per dollar wagered.

    We had 344 organizations (30% of us) pay more in taxes/fees than they had for their missions.

    We cannot afford to keep losing ground in our ability to serve those in need. Those in need are our constituents, they are who we need to fight to protect. We need to be their voice.

    Over the past several years ACM has offered several options that we believed would have helped increase our ability to serve those in need.

    Tax relief has been at the top of that list and ACM members have supported that goal. Despite the best efforts of those legislators that support us, the legislature as a whole has not seen fit to change our tax structure. In the 2021 legislative session we will again be working to affect change in the current tax code, but given the economic circumstances that we as a state currently face, this is a tall climb.

    ACM has previously offered up the ideas of capping the 15% and 20% bar options (as the 10% booth option is), capping the electronic tab revenue share (as linked electronic bingo revenue share is) and lowering the payout maximum. All of these options were deemed by members and our for profit industry associates as being too controversial and divisive. None were moved forward for legislative consideration.

    ACM has been hearing from numerous member organizations that would like to offer multiple electronic systems in their sites, but have been told by the bar/distributor/manufacturer that it is not an option. 

    Until a few years ago, manufacturers were required by statute to sell all of their products to all distributors in the state.  This “sell to all” law was designed to foster competition.  The only exception was for certain games (usually paper pull tab games) sold on an exclusive basis to a single distributor.  But after electronic bingo and pull tabs were permitted, the statute was changed to create another exception for electronic systems and software.   This change gave an electronic manufacturer the ability to choose who they will and will not sell to. It allows a manufacturer to sell to only one distributor. It also allows a manufacturer to refuse to sell to a distributor, including if a distributor attempts to sell a competing electronic product.  The argument for exempting electronic systems and software from the “sell to all” law was that proprietary information might be passed from distributors to competing manufacturers. Today, each of the electronic manufacturers licensed in Minnesota sells to multiple distributors, making the exemption no longer relevant.  In the past eight and a half years that electronics have been available, I am not aware of any case where proprietary information was stolen or misused by a distributor or licensed organization. 

    We have always said that the consumer will be the ultimate decision maker of who wins or loses in the charitable gambling market. That means that multiple providers need to have unhindered access to the market. Today that is not happening. 

    ACM will be offering legislation that will eliminate the exception in the “sell to all” statute for electronic equipment and software.  If passed, the law will require electronic manufacturers to sell to every licensed distributor (and therefore organization) regardless of whether or not a competing system exists in a site. The decision of what games to offer is best left to the charity and must not be given to anyone else. As soon as we have the language and bill numbers we will pass those along. We will need your support to make the change.

    If you have other ideas on what we could do to reverse our current downward trend, please share them with us.

    FYI, New MN Minimum Wage, Jan 1 The following are Minnesota's new minimum-wage rates as of Jan. 1, 2021. ·  Large employers must pay at least $10.08 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are $500,000 or more.·  Small employers must pay at least $8.21 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are less than $500,000.·  The training wage rate, $8.21 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 20 years of age for the first 90 consecutive days of employment.·  The youth wage rate, $8.21 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 18 years of age. Employers can print or order a free copy of the required minimum wage poster by visiting the   Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's website .

    Regards,

    Al Lund


  • 31 Dec 2020 08:07 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Please see attached.

    Licensee letter F.pdf

  • 22 Dec 2020 08:22 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    From 'Play ball' to 'Play Bally's'? Sinclair betting on legal gambling to boost viewership

    Sinclair Broadcasting, the owner of Fox Sports North, might soon be able to offer ways to bet on the game you're watching through your TV, phone or pad.  

    By Phil Miller Star Tribune

     

    DECEMBER 22, 2020 — 5:11AM

    WAYNE PARRY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

    This 2019 photo shows a gambler making a sports bet at Bally’s casino in Atlantic City N.J. Fox Sports North, which has televised Twins games on cable under a variety of names almost continuously since 1989, will be rebranded as Bally’s Sports Network (or something similar) this spring,

    MORE

    Sometime next summer, the bullpen door will swing open, Taylor Rogers will jog to the mound, and Twins fans will fret as their closer tries to preserve a small lead.

    But the team's new broadcasting partner wants them to do more than just watch and worry.

    Imagine longtime play-by-play voice Dick Bremer saying something like: "Rogers has converted seven consecutive save opportunities. Can he make it eight? If you'd like to place a bet on it, just go to your Bally's Sports app and click on 'In-game wagers.'"

    Fox Sports North, which has televised Twins games on cable under a variety of names almost continuously since 1989, will be rebranded as Bally's Sports Network (or something similar) this spring, perhaps as soon as baseball's scheduled Opening Day on April 1. And along with a new look will come a new facet of broadcasts of Twins, Timberwolves, Wild and Minnesota United FC games: gambling.

    Sinclair Broadcasting, which bought FSN and 20 other regional sports networks from Fox's parent company for more than $10 billion in August 2019, last month struck an $86 million deal with Bally's Corp., which owns 10 casinos around the country, to rename the various networks and turn them into conduits not only for live sports viewership but online sports gambling as well.

    Want to bet on whether Byron Buxton hits a home run in the game you're about to watch, who will net the Wild's next goal, or whether the Wolves will score more than 100 points? Sinclair and Bally's want to provide that opportunity — eventually, right through your TV, phone or pad. It's a tantalizing new revenue stream for a TV sports industry being battered by the rapid decline of cable and satellite bundlers as consumers migrate to streaming services.

    Betting on games "creates more engagement, and that's what drives value for teams — engaged fans," Chris Ripley, Sinclair's CEO, said in a conference in November to announce the 10-year contract with Bally's. "It's a win-win for everybody."

    Well, perhaps not for the 2.2% of American adults who are unable to moderate their wagering habits, according to research by the National Council on Problem Gambling. But just about everybody who is a fan of professional sports is a potential viewer, it seems.

    Opening the door

    The former Fox regional networks own the rights to televise games of 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams, an inventory — in non-COVID years — of more than 4,600 games per season. Sinclair also owns 20% of the YES Network, which carries New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games, and is a partner in the Marquee Network, which televises the Chicago Cubs, though neither property will be rebranded as Bally's.

    Those TV rights are rapidly losing value as a younger generation grows up with eyes on much smaller screens, far more interested in interacting via phones than passively watching a sporting event. Already, Sinclair estimates that its regional networks, robbed of hundreds of hours of live programming by the pandemic, lost a combined $4 billion in value since the purchase from Fox. Drumming up new customers, particularly those not inclined to tune in to a low-wattage midweek regular-season MLB game, is becoming critical for programmers.

    They hope they have found a new way to reach those customers, thanks to an unlikely ally: the Supreme Court. In 2018, a 6-3 majority declared unconstitutional a federal law that mostly prohibited states (except Nevada) from legalizing betting on sports, a ruling that set off a rush to cash in on a gambling boom. Already 25 states have approved gambling on sports, and another 21 — including Minnesota — have considered it.

    The right age

    It's a popular, and lucrative, lure.

    The network's research shows that 63% of viewers aged 25-34, the most coveted demographic for sports advertisers, are interested in betting on sports; 46% already bet on games at least once a month; and people who bet on games are 24% more likely to tune in to watch. The rate is nearly as high among college-age adults, creating what Ripley called a "staggering" number of potential customers.

    Those young viewers grew up playing video games, which provides a template for what Sinclair and Bally's have in mind, a broadcast that not only provides gamblers for Bally's but additional viewers for Sinclair's advertisers and teams.

    "The overall vision, of which this is a keystone, is to 'gamify' sports, to make watching sports like playing a video game," Ripley said. "We think this will dramatically increase the attractiveness [of watching games], especially for a younger generation."

    That means making the games — and the virtual betting windows — available on mobile devices, another important part of the strategy. Bally's paid $100 million to purchase Bet.Works, a company that is creating gambling software for a mobile app that can connect directly to Sinclair's streamed broadcasts.

    Minnesota vice

    It's clear already that there's plenty of money at stake, which is why pro leagues, the NBA in particular, have supported legislation to allow and regulate gambling. More than $800 million was wagered on sports in New Jersey last October alone, the state's regulators reported.

    Bills have been filed in the Minnesota Legislature to legalize sports gambling in each of the past two years, but in the face of opposition from Indian tribes that operate casinos in the state, the proposals died without a vote each time. Iowa, however, was among the first states to legalize sports gambling. FSN's reach extends into northern Iowa, putting sports wagering within a short drive for thousands of Minnesotans. Casinos in Deadwood, S.D., which also receives Twins broadcasts, will begin offering wagering on July 1.

    But Sinclair and Bally's are banking on legalization eventually arriving in most states, Minnesota likely among them, and planning programming accordingly. Ripley envisions pregame shows that examine potential wagers and betting strategies "and just set up that day's game for viewers," he told investors. Bally's will purchase advertising on the broadcasts as well, and graphics about available bets someday could be added to the screen.

    Phil Miller has covered the Twins for the Star Tribune since 2013. Previously, he covered the University of Minnesota football team, and from 2007-09, he covered the Twins for the Pioneer Press.

    phil.miller@startribune.com MillerStrib


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