Allied Charities of Minnesota

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  • 14 Apr 2021 15:48 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    An update on HF2366/SF1863. This bill would repeal the current electronic/linked bingo games that have been approved by the GCB and significantly restrict the type of electronic games that the GCB can approve in the future.

    This past Sunday evening I was advised by the House Commerce Committee Chair that the tribal bill to make changes to electronic gaming (HF2366) would be heard in his committee this week. HF2366 was heard in House Commerce yesterday, Tuesday, April 13 and passed on a 12 to 5 vote. Today it was heard in House Ways and Means and amended to the Commerce/Energy Omnibus bill, which was passed. It is now on its way to the House floor for a vote, probably sometime next week.

    We are working to understand what is happening in the Senate on the bill (SF1863).

    I testified against this bill yesterday. At the end of this note is my testimony.

    The bill in its present form is harmful to charities and our site partners. Charities and our site partners had nothing to do with designing or approving games. We are only able to offer what the GCB approved. If the legislature and administration feel that they must make these changes, there needs to be remedies included that would help mitigate loss of revenue. Anything less will be punishing charities and sites for something that we had no part in. Making this change without making it right for us is very wrong.

    This will be my message to my legislators: Representative Bahner,  Senator Limmer, HF2366/SF1863 will make substantial changes to limit what can be offered in charitable electronic gaming. Charities and our site partners had nothing to do with the designing of the current games or approval of the games, yet our ability to help others will be hurt if the bill is enacted. I am asking you to vote against this bill. IF it is going to be progressed relief must be included for charities and our site partners along with not making any star rating change for charities. The dust needs to settle as to what this change will mean to our ability to serve our mission and community before we are held to a higher standard in the star rating system. I am asking you to not hold us responsible for something that we had no part in. Thank you for your time and consideration. Regards, Al Lund Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion member and Osseo Lions Club member.

    If you currently have electronics or are in any way concerned about the ramifications of such changes, you need to take the time to let your legislators know what you think of the bill. Find out who represents you at https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

    Regards,

    Al Lund

    Al Lund, executive director Allied Charities of MN. ACM is a 501(c)6 organization that represents licensed gambling charities in Minnesota. Thank you chair and committee members for your time today.

    I am here today to speak in opposition of HF2366. If passed the bill would negatively impact our ability to serve, although to what degree is not known.

    I was on the ACM board when electronics were passed in 2012 and soon after that became the executive director. Playing electronics is a different experience than playing paper pull tabs. To my knowledge there has been no research into whether the increasing acceptance of electronics is due to the form or the games themselves.

    For me personally electronics have been a bit of a love hate relationship. The St. Michael American Legion, where I at one time was the gambling manager was one of the first sites in the state to get electronics back in December of 2012 and they still have them today. There is less oversight involved with managing electronics than paper, but the charity makes less on electronics than we do on paper. Overall we are the number two beneficiary behind the state in total charitable gambling, but in electronics we are number three behind the state and the manufacturer. I have struggled with the charity not being the number one beneficiary of charitable gambling, yet I am bemused when those that profit from charities find it hard to understand that I hold that belief.

    In part, the bill would eliminate bonus games or bonus features in an electronic pull-tab game.  Bonus features have been central to paper pull tab games in Minnesota since the 1980’s and continue to be played today.  A bonus feature in a paper pull-tab game involves the use of a seal card. A seal card is a placard that accompanies a deal of pull-tabs and contains one or more seals, that when opened reveal a prize.  Players qualify for the opportunity to compete for a seal prize by opening a pull-tab that directs them to the seal card.  The player might have the opportunity to pick a seal to be opened, or the ticket might designate the seal to be opened. No seal card prize may exceed the prize limits imposed by state law.  The seal card simply extends the play of the game for the predetermined and limited number of players in the deal who have tickets that qualify them for the seal round.

    This bill says that electronic pull-tabs must replicate paper pull-tab games.  This bill eliminates the electronic replication of an entire style of paper pull-tab game. Bonus features in e-tabs replicate seal card games and allow players to advance to a bonus screen, just like players advance to a paper seal card.  Electronic pull-tabs offer more entertaining graphics than a paper seal card, but the result is the same.  A predetermined and limited number of players in the electronic deal have the opportunity to qualify for the bonus round and the possibility of winning a prize.  Fundamentally, the play of the game is the same in the paper and electronic format.

    In FY2020 charities netted $14 million from electronic gambling for mission and community. The charities have had no part in designing or approving e games since they were approved in 2012. I have never believed that an intent of the bill was to harm charities, but with no provisions in the bill (such as tax relief) to help charities mitigate any revenue loss, hurting charities will be a consequence of the bill.

    ACM urges the GCB and tribal representatives to work together to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the issues at hand without legislation. Thank you for your time.


  • 05 Apr 2021 13:53 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    By all accounts, E business continues to grow. It grew at a 16% clip the previous fiscal year. If that trend continues for FY2021 it will mean that electronic revenue share will cost charities $5 million more than the previous fiscal year.

    With the recent announcements of the price increase on paper tabs, it will cost charities $3 million more annually to buy their paper tabs.

    Those two increases mean that our expenses will go from 53% of net receipts to 55% of net receipts.

    Increased costs of doing business do not get covered from just anywhere, they come from donation dollars. Increased costs hinder our ability to serve our missions and communities.

    Assuming payout stays where it was in FY2020 (it has not done that for the past 7 fiscal years, but one can always hope) it would mean that after payout of 84.88%, the average organization would have 15.12 cents remaining for expenses, taxes/fees and donations. Expenses will take 8.31 cents and taxes/fees will take 4 cents, leaving the average organization with 2.81 cents per dollar wagered for mission and community. Payout has increased on average .31 cent every year the past seven years, going from 82.7% in FY2014 to 84.88% in FY2020.  

    Under the GCB proposed star rating change that would measure donations against expenses, the average organization would then have a ratio of 29.9% or a star rating of 1. Higher expenses, taxes/fees translate to fewer dollars that the organization will have for mission and community. As expenses and taxes/fees increase an organization’s star rating will decline as well. Without corresponding tax relief it will become increasingly difficult for organizations to stay off of probation.

    The GCB has stated that organizations will be able to stay off of probation by spending down their retained cash, in effect buying your way out of probation. While that may work for one year, it is not something that an organization would be able to do long term.

    Here is what is not said about the retained cash amount listed in the FY end reports. That number is from June 30 of each year, the end of the state’s fiscal year. It is not the end of the fiscal year for every licensed organization. Many organizations wait until the end of their fiscal year to spend down. Many organizations carry over funds in order to have the amount needed for a larger purchase that they cannot afford in one fiscal year. A retained cash amount would only have value if it was from the fiscal year end of each individual organization.

    All of the fiscal guidance that I could find states three to six months of operating expenses is what a business needs to have on hand at any given time. Even using the number from June 30, the average organization has $46,000 in retained cash which equates to 3.8 months of operating expenses. The organization that I found with the largest amount of retained cash had less than 10 months of operating expenses.

    For the long term survival of charities and everyone who relies on income from them, there needs to be frank discussions about changes that need to be made in order to keep charities from going under. I understand that nobody wants to discuss the elephant in the room, but if it isn’t this will not continue forever.

    Regards,

    Al Lund

  • 23 Mar 2021 11:41 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    SF1863/HF2366 is a bill that would make substantial changes to the operating of linked e-bingo and e-tabs. It is being offered by the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA).. You can see the bills in their entirety on the ACM website under the NEWS tab.

    MIGA does not share their reasons with me, but I know that they believe that the intent of the 2012 stadium legislation that allowed electronic gambling does not align with what exists in sites today.

    MIGA has tried over the past several years to negotiate changes with the GCB, but to this point in time, has had no success. This bill is their most recent attempt to garner the changes that they believe need to be made to reflect what was agreed to in 2012.

    Their bill was first introduced in the Senate. First deadline passed without the bill being heard in the Senate. The bill now has a House author, but we do not know if he will hear the bill. There are ways to get bills passed after deadline, but the path is very different from the norm and is seldom used or successful. 

    I have been accused of being against electronic gaming. That could not be further from the truth. My previous American Legion was one of the very first sites to put in electronics and they still have them today. What I am against is others making more than the charity on the forms of electronic gaming that we are allowed to offer. In our total business (all forms), we are now the number two beneficiary behind the state, but in electronics we are number three behind the state and the manufacturers. 

    Unfortunately, there are even instances where the charity is number three, four or five on the electronic gaming profit ladder. In January, my Lion club’s payout on electronic pull tabs was 92% (we use the auto close feature, our FYTD payout is 87.59%). Our cost of doing business overall is 9.3 cents on every dollar wagered. In January, the state, the manufacturer, the bar, and the distributor all got paid (as they get paid off of net receipts) while our club lost money on every dollar played. We are not the only one.

    Charitable organizations exist for the primary purpose of serving others.  We fund a multitude of programs in our communities all across the state. Many of these programs would not exist but for the money raised through charitable gambling.  Having charity being less than the number one reason for charitable gambling is hard for me to accept; being three, four or five on the profit scale is beyond my comprehension. 

    In 2012 the people/groups working to pass electronic gaming legislation were quoted as saying that electronic linked bingo and pull tabs would deliver as much as $75 million a year in taxes to state coffers. In FY2020 electronic gaming delivered $28 million of the $84 that we remitted in total tax payments.

    I believe that if the bill were to be enacted it would have a negative impact on the overall volume of electronic bingo and electronic pull tab sales.  In addition, the manufacturers will be forced to revise their games to meet the new standards at a cost undoubtedly passed on to us, the charities.  What these changes will mean is the real question and I do not believe that anyone has the correct answer to that question. 

    We will be watching this bill very closely. We do not believe that the bill will be enacted this year, but if not, it will still be alive next legislative session as this year is the first year of the two year session. 

    Regards,

    Al Lund


  • 15 Mar 2021 15:15 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    The 2021 legislative session is already half over. Tax relief is still in play for licensed gambling charities, but we must let our legislators know how important relief is for us and our ability to continue serving.

    It has been reported that the state currently has a $1.6 billion surplus, tax receipts are coming in better than anticipated and Minnesota is expected to receive $4.7 billion from the Federal Government for COVID relief.

    Now is the time for charities to get the relief that will help keep us viable in our communities. The relief bill that has been heard in the Senate Tax Committee would provide an 11% reduction in combined receipt taxes. That represents $10 to $13 million annually, depending on net receipts. We would still be sending in $85 to $100 million, which is $17 to $32 million, more than is required for the general fund and stadium bond payments.

    Leaving charities out of the mix on relief at this time is wrong. We have done more than our fair share in providing revenue to the state. Now is our time for much needed relief.

    Below are the Senators that have leadership roles in the Senate. If any of them represent you, you and your entire organization need to make contact with them and stress the importance of relief. Let them know what an extra eleven percent in bottom line dollars would mean for your mission and community.

    Senator Paul Gazelka Senate Majority Leader, Senator Susan Kent Minority Leader, Senator Roger Chamberlain Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Jason Isaacson Minority Whip, Senator Zack Duckworth Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Melisa Franzen Assistant Minority Leader, Senator Carla Nelson Tax Chair, Senator Foung Hawj Assistant Minority Leader, Senator Karin Housley Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Nick Frentz Assistant Minority Leader, Senator John Jasinski Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Mark Johnson Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Jeremy Miller President of the Senate, Senator Kent Eken Minority Whip, Senator Bill Weber Assistant Majority Leader, Senator David Tomassoni President Pro Tem.

    If Tax Chair Senator Nelson is your Senator thank her for her support and her bill that would give us much needed relief.

    You can find out who represents you at https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

    Don’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers yet again. One phone call, e-mail or letter may be just what it takes to get this done.

    Regards,

    Al Lund

  • 01 Mar 2021 07:33 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Testimony to the Senate State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee on Wednesday, March 3.

    Madam Chair, committee members, thank you for your time today.

    My name is Allen Lund. I am the executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota (ACM). We are a 501c6 that represents licensed gambling organizations in Minnesota.

    ACM opposes SF746, a bill being sponsored by the Gambling Control Board that would change the current star rating system for charities. If enacted SF746 would no longer take into account our largest single expense, the taxes and fees that we are required to pay, when computing our rating. The current system takes all Lawful Purpose Expenditures (donations, taxes and fees) as a percentage of Net Receipts (sales minus prizes) to determine your rating. The proposed system takes donations only as a percentage of Allowable Expenses to determine your rating. The GCB has stated that this bill is tied to tax relief, but tax relief is nowhere to be found in the bill.

    ACM understands those that think that licensed charitable gambling organizations need to get more dollars to the bottom line for mission and community. Charities want that too. We welcome charities being evaluated, but we believe that the entire expense structure needs to be considered when looking at the ability of a charity to serve.

    ACM has offered alternatives that prior to organizations being rated would remove mandates that charities must pay in order to conduct charitable gambling in Minnesota. We must pay our taxes and fees. We must store our played games for a minimum of 3 ½ years. We must pay for our games, rent, bar ops and electronic revenue share. If a charity has sales of more than $750,000 in a fiscal year they must have an annual outside audit conducted by a CPA and the audit must be paid for. All of these things lessen our ability to get money to our bottom line for mission and community.

    The Osseo Lions (of which I am a member) does not own a building and has one site, a local bar. Monthly the Osseo Lions must pay rent to the bar, a bar electronics operation fee and an electronics revenue share fee that totals $10,000. That’s $120,000 annually that the Osseo Lions do not have available for donations, through no fault of their own. The Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion (of which I am also a member) has one site and pays none of those costs. Using the proposed rating system a person not familiar with either organization could come to a conclusion that the Legion (5 stars under the current system and 5 stars under the proposed system) is a better steward of funds than the Lions (4 stars under the current rating system and 1 star under the proposed rating system) when in reality both are well run organizations dealing with very different circumstances. That is not a fair and equitable comparison.   

    If enacted the average organization would go from 4 stars under the current system (1 to 5 possible stars) to 1 star under the proposed system (0 to 5 possible stars).   

    We also question the timing of this bill. These are unsettling times for all of us. Charities do not know what the future holds and many have been holding additional funds in reserve in order to survive the pandemic with the goal of serving far into the future. We all hope that a rating system that is fair and equitable to all charities can be developed and ACM stands ready to help with that. If the bill is to be progressed, we would ask that an effective date no earlier than July 1, 2023 be given in order for charities to have the time to react and attempt to comply with the change.

    There is currently a charitable gambling tax relief bill being offered in the Senate (SF1322) that reduces taxes on charities and also changes the star rating system to help ensure that relief goes where we all want it to go, into mission and community. SF746 does not do that.

    Thank you for your time today.




  • 12 Feb 2021 12:10 | Allen Lund (Administrator)
    DIALS: Via Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, VERBATIM: “As hospitalizations and the COVID-19 positivity rate continue to decline and the state makes progress in vaccinating those most vulnerable, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 21-07 to continue supporting Minnesota’s economic recovery and make adjustments to COVID-19 mitigation measures . . . Executive Order 21-07, effective Saturday, February 13 at noon, takes steps to further reopen Minnesota’s economy safely, including:
    • Increasing the ‘not to exceed’ capacity in restaurants to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 50 percent
    • Increasing indoor entertainment ‘not to exceed’ capacity to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25 percent
    • Increasing private events and celebrations ‘not to exceed’ capacity to 50, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25
    • Increasing gym and pool ‘not to exceed’ capacity to 250, while leaving maximum capacity at 25 percent, and reducing distancing requirement to 6 feet.
    • Allowing restaurants to stay open until 11 p.m.”
    WALZ: “Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of their employees and communities,” said Governor Walz. “Today, we can make these cautious, common sense adjustments to support them because of the progress we have made controlling the spread of COVID-19 and getting the most at-risk Minnesotans vaccinated.” ORDER: https://fluence-media.co/3rJVOWv

    EO 21-07 Final_tcm1055-468258.pdf

  • 04 Feb 2021 13:42 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Below are the 2021 Legislative session charitable gambling bills to date. You can find a copy of all bills at the ACM website under the NEWS tab at www.alliedcharitiesmn.org. If you wish to bring any of the bills to the attention of your state legislators, and you do not know who represents you, you can find out who represents you at https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

    SF63/HF184 Authors (Senator Housley, Representatives Dettmer, Gruenhagen, Hamilton, Erickson, Theis). This bill would exempt sales tax on the lease or purchase of gambling equipment.

    SF0063-0.pdf HF0184.0.pdf

    SF195/HF142 Authors (Senators Anderson, Kiffmeyer, Representatives Dettmer , Gruenhagen, Hamilton, Erickson, Theis, Boe, Lueck). This bill would lower the combined receipt tax to 6/12/18/24% from the current 9/18/27/36%. The dollar triggers would remain the same ($0-$87,500/$87,500-$122,500/$122,500-$157,500/$157,500+).

    SF0195-0.pdf HF0142.0.pdf

    SF196/HF140 Authors (Senators Anderson, Kiffmeyer, Representatives Dettmer, Gruenhagen, Hamilton, Erickson, Theis, Boe, Koznick, Lueck). This bill would exempt lawful purpose donations (A codes 1-7, 9-26) from the gambling tax.

    SF0196-0.pdf HF0140.0.pdf

    SF197/HF143 Authors (Senators Anderson, Kiffmeyer, Representatives Dettmer, Gruenhagen, Hamilton, Erickson, Theis). This bill would remove the requirement of the outside annual audit ($750,000 in sales or greater). CPA audits of any licensed organization can be required by MNDOR when red flags are raised (late filing, late payments, fraudulent returns, failed to take corrective action, failure to comply).

    SF0197-0.pdf HF0143.0.pdf

    SF267/HF811 Authors (Senators Koran, Hoffman, Representative Dettmer). This bill would require an electronic manufacturer to sell to all who want to carry their product.

    SF0267-0.pdf HF0811-0.pdf

    SF368/HF96 Authors (Senators Ruud, Chamberlain, Koran, Dornink, Draheim, Representative Lueck). This bill would reduce the net receipt tax from 8.5% to 4.25% and reduce the combined receipts tax to 4.5% on the first $200,000 combined net receipts, 9% on $200,000 to $500,000 combined net receipts and 13.5% over $500,000 net receipts.

    SF0368-0.pdf HF0096-0.pdf

    SF391/HF531 Authors (Senator Housley, Representative Nash). This bill would allow a check or debit card for be used for the purchasing of raffle tickets over the phone.

    SF0391-0.pdf HF0531.0.pdf

    SF458/HF564 Authors (Senators Lang, Duckworth, Housley, Anderson, Kiffmeyer, Representatives Dettmer, Urdahl, Erickson). This bill would allow licensed veteran post to spend up to 50% of their annual gross profits on the repair, maintenance or improvement of real property and capital assets each year through July 1, 2031. The current limit is 5%.

    SF0458-0.pdf HF0564.0.pdf

    SF746/HF898 Authors (Senator Koran, Representative Huot). This bill would change the star rating system. Taxes and fees would no longer be factored into the ranking. Donations (A1-A7, A9-A17, and A19-A26) would be divided into expenses. Any organization who has more than $750,000 in annual sales and has less than 20% of donations divided by expenses will be placed on probation for one year. If still on probation at the end of one year the organization may face a license suspension or fine. ACM is opposed to this bill if not tied to tax relief. Our projection is that it will at least double the organizations being placed on probation.

    SF0746-0.pdf HF0898.0.pdf

    SF756/HF897 Authors (Senator Koran, Representative Huot). This bill allows a GCB board member to continue holding office on the GCB board until a successor is appointed.

    SF0756-0.pdf HF0897.0.pdf

    SF1322/HF2207 Authors (Senator Nelson, Rep. Dettmer, Novotny, Urdahl, Erickson). This bill would cut the combined receipt rates to 8/16/24/32%. It would change the star rating system to require an organization expend a minimum of 40% on LPE (All A Codes) to not be considered for probation.

    SF1322-0.pdf HF2207.0.pdf

    SF1637 Author (Senator Howe). This bill would consider emergency loans from lawful gambling funds for emergency expenditures made by congressionally charterd veteran's organizations to be repaid.

    SF1637-0.pdf

    SF1863/HF2366 Authors (Senators Bakk, Rest, Rarick, Goggin, Rep. Stephenson, Davids). This bill provides clarifying definitions relating to electronic games.

    SF1863-0.pdf HF2366.0.pdf

    SF2069/HF2288 Authors (Senators Bigham, Cwodzinski, Hawj, Representative Franke) This bill allows a licensed veteran organization to use 50% of previous fiscal year gross profits on the repair, maintenance or improvedment of real property for up to ten years.

    SF2069-0.pdf HF2288.0.pdf

  • 01 Feb 2021 12:46 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    I was asked by a legislator to comment on a change to the star rating system being proposed by the GCB (see attached). Below is what I sent back to the legislator.

    Thank you for the opportunity to review this. It took me some time to understand what the changes would mean and how they were getting at it.

    Here is some background on the GCB proposal. This proposal from the GCB changing the current star rating system is similar in design to what was in the tax bill last year along with our tax reduction. The message from the legislature then was that the state would give us tax relief (a 10% reduction) along with the tightening up of the star rating system (with GCB input) in return. The concern of some was that we would take that relief and put it into expenses, not donations. After voicing our concerns about what we viewed as an unwarranted increase we decided that we would not let our objections get in the way of tax relief. Our belief was that if there was a marked increase in the number of charities going on probation that there might be a change to the formula down the road.

    It now appears that the goal of the GCB is to tighten up the star rating system without tax relief being tied to it.

    I compared the current star system to the proposed star system using the GCB FY2020 figures. The current star system was suspended for FY2020 due to COVID (at ACM’s urging and ultimate support of the GCB and Governor). Normally there are roughly 40 to 50 organizations on probation in any given year. FY2020 had 85 organizations that would have been on probation using the current star rating system. The increase would have been due to COVID and the shutdown. Charities do not know when they might be shut down again and are reluctant to spend down their accounts worried that they will not have the money to restart or get through another shutdown. Many will be paying a UBIT penalty to both the federal and state this year because of that.

    The proposed star system changes things. Again using the FY2020 numbers, 98 organizations would have been put on probation, which is double from the previous average of 40 to 50. Normally there are roughly 13 VFW/Legion Posts that would be on probation and that number does not appear to change with the proposed system.

    The proposed star rating system has at its core the belief that charities are expense heavy. I do not believe that to be true. Almost all of our expenses are fixed. Cost of games, rent and wages are all set by market forces or state/federal statute. The one area that there is flexibility is gambling manager pay. Our detractors will tell you that we need to do our work on a volunteer basis. In a perfect world I may not disagree with them. But the reality is that getting people to work twenty to forty hours per week at no pay is no longer feasible.

    I also question whether the state has thought about putting more organizations on probation. I added up what that group of 98 paid in taxes/fees in FY2020 and (if my math is correct) it comes to over $18 million.

    We understand the desire to have more money go into donations, we want that too. We are just not sure that the proposed rating change does that. Without any accompanying tax relief the change would be additional pressure on charities to cut expenses where there is really very little to cut.

    We would also request that the star rating system be suspended for FY2021 that is now more than half over and has had us go through another shutdown. Now is not the time to have our operations judged when there is nothing that even resembles normalcy. Even under the current system the number of organizations that would end up on probation will grow much higher than 85.

    You might ask the GCB what their predictions are for the number of charities that would be on probation under the proposed changes to see if it differs much from what I see.

    In closing, if the proposal becomes statute we would be judged solely on our donations against our expenses. Taxes, which are our largest outlay, would no longer be counted. In my opinion taxes are our biggest issue, not our expenses. We are not going to get people to work for free and the vast majority of our gambling managers are not getting rich doing that job. After paying our expenses (53% of what we get to the bank) and taxes (27% of what we get to the bank) we have 20% left for donations. Our costs and taxes go up every year. We currently net 3 cents on every dollar wagered, that number has gone down every year for the past eight years. This proposed change will not stop that slide.

    Again, thank you for the opportunity. Any questions, please advise.

    Regards,

    Al

    GCB recommended updates to 349.15 star rating system under 21-01933 as of 25 January 2021 (1).pdf

  • 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.


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