As we await the FY2018 numbers (we will probably not see the GCB FY2018 annual report until November) I took a look back at the years 2013 – 2017 to see who profited the most from the 2012 stadium bill. The Vikings took first place, increasing their net worth by $1.425 billion ($9.75 million to $2.4 billion). Next was the state, increasing their net by $31 million ($39 million to $70 million). In last place was us at $13 million ($53 million to $66 million).
I wanted to show you what the bars and distributor/manufacturers have netted over the same time period, but that information was not in the FY2013 GCB annual report. I asked the GCB for the information, but was told that ACM will no longer be provided information free of charge when requested.
Our detractors say “see, you made more as well, everything is coming up roses”. These are the same folks that want what we do to be called lawful gambling rather than charitable gambling. When I say that the charity is being taken out of charitable gambling I say it to decry our current situation. The focus is no longer on “charity”: our missions have taken a back seat to maximizing profit for the state and those that profit from our labors.
I have firsthand knowledge of individuals coming to Minnesota to buy bars with the expressed purpose of cashing in on charitable gambling by running a bar op. Charitable gambling in Minnesota is becoming known nationally as a get rich quick scheme for everyone but the charity.
When I ask charities that have had their mission dollars decrease over the last several years why they are not screaming from the rooftops for change I get two answers. One is that it will make no difference, nobody listens to us and no changes will be forthcoming. Two is that if they do make noise they are in fear of losing their site. Those of us that are not in jeopardy of losing our sites need to get in the game. We need to be the voice for the voiceless. We need to do everything possible to save charitable gambling before the charitable component is lost forever.