Allied Charities of Minnesota


  • 11 Jan 2019 05:37 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    Last Saturday I was at the American Legion 10th District Mid-Winter convention, of which my home Post 172 Osseo/Maple Grove is a member. There were 125 or so of us; Legion, Auxiliary, Legion Riders and SAL members. In attendance were people of all ages, but we were predominantly older in age. Most of us had served our country years ago. There were veterans from every conflict since Korea.

    The common denominator among those in attendance was their desire to continue to serve. They don’t do it for the recognition or any profit motive. They do it for their fellow human being. They do it to make their community a better place to live.

    I was asked by our District Commander Paul Orson to say a few words about charitable gaming and what ACM’s goals were for the upcoming session. I talked about the taxes and fees that we pay and how we are now paying more to the state than we have for our veterans and communities.

    The attendees had a look on their faces that was easily recognizable to me. I always struggle to put into words the look on people’s faces when you tell them that the government that they have sworn to uphold is treating them like anything but an ally.  

    We are on pace to send the state $90 million in taxes/fees this fiscal year. The 2012 stadium bill was designed for us to pay $36.9 million into the general fund and to make the $31 million dollar annual bond payment. It was not designed for us to pay off the bonds early, pay for improvements or pay for future building projects. We will be sending in $22 million more than is needed to cover those two amounts this fiscal year. Either having our donations exempt from the gambling tax or lowering the combined receipt rates to 6/12/18/24% would be a remedy for us.

    In short order we will have bill numbers for our tax relief bills. When you get those numbers you need to contact your legislators and tell them that relief needs to be delivered this session and that you want them to support these bills. On the ACM website under Legislation you will find who the state senators and state representatives are for the 2019/2020 legislative years as well as what members are on the Tax and Gambling Policy committees that we need to work through on our issues. You will also find a link to who represents you.

    Those of you that were in Bemidji may remember Mark Irving from Canterbury Park. Mark tells me that Canterbury is holding an open house on Thursday, January 31 from 3 to 7 pm and that all gaming charity members are welcome. Hope to see you there. to RSVP.


    Al Lund

  • 14 Dec 2018 04:50 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    Attached you will find an article on stadium funding that was published in the Star Tribune this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

    In the article the current administration recommends moving the annual $20 million in corporate money from the stadium fund back to the general fund. Doing that would leave only our money ($38 million in FY2018) to cover the annual stadium bond payment ($31 million), which would cover the stadium bond payment, but effectively negate our chance for real tax relief.

    Our proposal for dealing with the stadium bonds is to put our first $35 million into the stadium fund, leave the $20 million from corporate and provide tax relief to charities by reducing the combined receipt brackets by 10% a year as long as we maintain the $35 million for the bonds. That would ensure that the bonds are paid for, leave money for future repairs/remodeling, provide the potential for early payment of the bonds and provide us relief.

    Fortunately there is a new day coming in a few weeks. Time will tell what the new administration and democratic house leadership have to say about the issue. We are getting indications from the senate that relief for us will be in their 2019 legislative agenda. We are hopeful that the governor-elect, the house and the senate will be willing to listen to win/win strategies that benefit all parties.

    The past two weeks I have been preparing recaps of FY2018 licensed charitable organization gaming results for each state senate district. I am always humbled and in awe when I see what is going on in over 1100 licensed gaming charities in every corner of our state.

    We are a diverse group of lay people helping those in need in our community. We don’t do it for glory or personal gain as our opponents like to claim. We do it for the right reasons, all designed to make the state a better place to live. As I have previously said, if everyone in the state belonged to organizations like ours the state would be better off.

    As has been pointed out to me by state officials on several occasions, we are not the only folks doing good deeds in Minnesota. But, when looked at as a group there is nobody else that even comes close to making the impact that we do on a statewide basis. I am not saying that as a boast, I am saying that as fact and a point of immense pride.  

    One would think that non government aid would be encouraged by state government, but that is not the case for us. There is very little recognition by state government of the good works that we do and the contribution that we make to the state coffers. We are accused by state legislators of being self serving and of taking advantage of our patrons. There is no apparent quenching of state government’s thirst for the results of our combined efforts. $40 million in FY2013 did not quench their thirst; $80 million in FY2018 is not doing it either.   

    I received a call from an organization this week that is well below the state average in the percentage of their net receipts that goes to expenses that paid 59% of what remained to the state in taxes and fees FY2018. In November they lost money at three of their six sites. They (and I as well) cannot understand why the state would put such a burden on organizations like theirs that are only trying to do good for others.  

    When you think about how we are treated by the state it is hard for me to comprehend. I believe that gambling is an activity that should be taxed. But, I do not believe that groups whose sole existence is to help others need pay the state more than we have for our community and missions.

    There was a day when such taxation would have never been considered yet allowed by our elected officials. I believe it was Ann Landers who said “no one can take advantage of you without your permission”. The state is taking advantage of us. As a group we need to decide if we are going to continue to let that happen.

    While I am disappointed in how the state treats us, I am disappointed in us as well. Getting the state to stop their current treatment of us will take effort on our part. ACM alone cannot make this happen. I hear from charities that ask why they need to get involved as they thought that is why they paid ACM membership dues.

    It is a problem when I talk to a legislator who tells me that no person from their district has ever talked to them about our tax issue. Legislators don’t address issues like ours that their constituents don’t care enough to talk to them about.

    ACM is one voice in a choir of thousands at the legislature, all looking for something from them. Our difference is that we are looking for justice not help. A non-profit paying on average five times (and up to seven times) in taxes what a business pays is wrong. We are not asking what government can do for us; we are saying that we want to be part of the solution to the funding of state government, but asking to be taxed and treated fairly in return. I for one do not think that is asking too much. Do you?

    Find out who represents you at



  • 07 Dec 2018 06:07 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    NEWS FLASH: The budget forecast released on December 6 predicts a $1.5 billion budget surplus, PLUS $2 billion in reserves.

    Next week the senate republican majority will be together at a retreat to discuss issues and plans for the upcoming legislative session.

    If you think that tax relief for licensed charitable gaming organizations needs to be on their agenda and your senator is a member of the republican majority, you need to let them know that right away.

    To find out who your senator is or how to contact them, use this link

    Tell your senator what your organization paid in taxes and fees in FY2018. Tell them the percentage of what you had left after paying your expenses went to the state in taxes and fees.

    Many of you are now working longer for the state than you are for your community and mission.

    Tell them what more you would be able to do in your community if more of the money that you raised locally stayed local.

    ACM is working to educate every legislator on how the licensed gaming charities in their respective districts fared in FY2018.

    All of the education that we do here at ACM rings hollow with legislators if they are not hearing from the members of the organizations in their respective districts.


  • 26 Nov 2018 10:27 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Electronic Pull Tabs: The cure for what ails charitable gaming?  

    As I have returned home from Bemidji I have seen several “news” stories on how electronic pull tabs are now saving the day by paying for the Viking’s stadium with the potential of paying off the stadium bonds early.

    As I am wont to say, let us peel that onion back a little further.

    First off I want to reiterate that ACM is not anti electronics. Tools that deliver more profit per dollar wagered are preferred to tools that deliver less profit per dollar wagered.  

    A little fact checking shows that all of our first $36.9 million in charitable gambling taxes goes into the general fund each fiscal year.  After that all charitable gambling taxes go into the stadium bond fund. In FY 2018 we paid $38.1 million into the stadium fund and the corporate unitary tax paid in another $20 million. In total, the stadium bond fund received $58.1 million, almost double the $31 million needed to make the bond payments. The stadium fund resides in the general fund. There is no funding of this type from dedicated accounts. The ability for the state to pay off the bonds early does not come into play until FY2021/22.

    In my initial review of the GCB FY 2018 annual report the following occurred:

                    Sales grew by $300 million ($1.7 billion to $2 billion) +15%

                    Payout grew (83.4% to 84.3%) +1%

    State taxes/fees grew by $9 million ($72 million to $81 million) +12.5%

    Mission dollars grew by $6.5 million ($66 million to $72.5 million) + 10%

    Rent grew by $4 million ($27 million to $31 million) +15%

                    Cost of all games grew by $9.1 million ($34.7 million to $43.8 million) +26%

                    Cost of paper games grew by $1.7 million ($25.7 million to $27.4 million) +7%

                    Cost of electronic games grew by $7.4 million ($9 million to $16.4 million) +82%

                    Paper games provided 72% of our net receipts and represented 63% of our total product cost

                    Electronic games provided 16% of our net receipts and represented 37% of our total product cost

    At the current electronic revenue share rates, if all of our paper games transitioned to electronic games, total product cost would increase by $55 million to $97 million. Mission dollars would drop to $48 million. 

    The number of charities that are now required to conduct an outside annual audit has increased to 630 from less than 500 three years ago.

    Our net per dollar wagered declined from 3.84 cents in FY 2017 to 3.62 cents in FY 2018.

    The GCB Organization Annual report now includes a column of cash on hand. It shows that charities had $52 million dollars on hand at the end of FY2018. That sounds like a lot of money. Organizations saving for big ticket items (fire relief, hockey, snow, conservation and youth) rarely have the funds available to make a sizable purchase, except over time. $52 million divided between all of our organizations is $45,000 per organization. The number is a snapshot in time on a given day of a given year. If all organizations operated on the State’s fiscal year, that number would be vastly reduced. There are safeguards that have been put in place by the state of Minnesota and the federal government to ensure that an organization is not raising funds for the sake of raising funds. In fact, those same safeguards penalize us for holding on to cash beyond the end of our fiscal year. Those of you that have paid state and federal unrelated business income tax (UBIT) know the price imposed for not spending the funds that you have raised.  

    Thanks go out to you that were in Bemidji. I hope that you learned a lot, laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed yourself. In 2019 we will be in Rochester November 21 – 23.

    Applications for one year At-Large board members are being accepted until Monday, December 3. Applications can be found on the ACM website At-Large board members will be chosen by the ACM Regional Directors at the December 17 board meeting.


  • 20 Oct 2018 06:21 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Notice of Intent: notice-of-intent-to-adopt.pdf

    Rules Draft: RD4555 10172018.pdf

  • 05 Oct 2018 08:42 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    Update on Bemidji. There are hotel rooms available. The AmericInn, Best Western and Holiday Inn Express will have their ACM room blocks open until November 2. The Quality Inn and Super 8 will close their room blocks on October 15. See contact information below.

    We currently have 35 seminars being offered. 5 by the Gambling Control Board, 2 by the Department of Revenue, 2 by the Department of Public Service, 2 by ACM Attorney Mary Magnuson, 2 by Tom Horner, 2 by Mark Irving, 8 ACM Group Discussions and 12 by Exhibitors. Seminar descriptions will be out later this month.

    Thursday night we have our pizza welcome party and we also have C Willi Myles entertaining us. We consider C Willi a member of the ACM family. He is a gifted entertainer.

    Friday afternoon we will be having a cash bingo session with a must go $1000 cover-all being conducted by the North Country Snowmobile club. All proceeds are going to the Bemidji area food shelf.

    Friday evening is the banquet and entertainment by the Johnny Holm band. Johnny is a Minnesota legend that is not to be missed.

    If you have not registered for the convention, there is still time to do so. Registration is attached. Additional information can be found on the ACM website ( under the Convention & Expo tab.

    Come to Bemidji. You will learn, share, have fun and be entertained. Hope to see you there.



    AmericInn Lodge and Suites $99.90 per night (tax not included).  218-751-3000. 3.93 miles from the Sanford Center.  Shuttle bus service provided.

    Best Western $99.00 per night (tax not included).  218-751-0390. 4.84 miles from the Sanford Center.  Shuttle service not provided, free parking at Sanford Center.

    Holiday Inn Express $104.95 per night (tax not included).  218-751-2487. 3.92 miles from the Sanford Center.  Shuttle bus service provided.

    Quality Inn $103 per night (tax not included). 218-444-7700. 6.42 miles from the Sanford Center.  Shuttle bus service not provided, free parking at the Sanford Center.

    Super 8 $88.98 per night (tax not included). 218-308-9046. 4.5 miles from the Sanford Center.  Shuttle bus service provided.

  • 28 Sep 2018 04:40 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    My prediction is that when the FY2018 numbers come out they will show that since the passage of the 2012 stadium bill we have had less bottom line dollar growth than the bar, state or distributor/manufacturer.

    If you had told me that a charitable, need based community safety net would be changed in such a way as to benefit others more than the charity, I would have said “Not in Minnesota, no way, no how. That is not who we are”. But yet here it is.

    Our legislators are being told that we are not good stewards of the dollars that we receive, that we are self serving and keep dollars for our own use that would otherwise go to the needy.   

    Those that want to keep the status quo are saying “It’s their expenses; they pay their sellers, they pay their gambling manager, they don’t comparison shop their paper games and they have more dollars than they had six years ago”.

    There is no explaining away that the reason for charitable gaming, helping those in need, is the lowest rung of the profit ladder since the passage of the stadium bill. Six years is a long time. The numbers are not an anomaly; they are a trend that needs to be addressed.

    We are being made out to be less than honorable. Our character and integrity is being called into question. As a whole you are the most caring, selfless group of people that I have ever had the privilege to be associated with. I have seen your good works. I know your dedication and the sacrifices you have made.

    I understand the reluctance to get involved. Many of us believe that it will not do any good, that nothing we say or do is going to get our legislators to come to our aid. I am not telling you that contacting your legislators will bring about change. I am telling you that if you are not willing to defend your honor, nobody else will either.  

    Take time to review your own numbers from FY2013 through FY2018. See who benefited the least and who benefited the most. Share that with your legislators.

    Find out who represents you at Talk to them about the difference that you make in your community, what more you would be able to do if more money stayed in your community.

    Below are the contact links for the Walz and Johnson campaigns along with a link to a recent Forbes article on the worth of NFL franchises.


  • 21 Sep 2018 05:52 | Allen Lund (Administrator)


    See the link to an article regarding sports themed tip boards for the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance of which I serve as a board member and treasurer.

    We have asked both Tim Walz and Jeff Johnson for the winner of the November election to address us in Bemidji. Both have replied that they have us down for an appearance request, but are making no commitments until after the election. We have also asked them if they have a position on our tax issue, but have received no response from either Johnson or Walz at this time. If you know either of the candidates, ask them where they stand on our issue. We will let you know if they do get back to us with a position statement. 

    You may have heard this week that another charitable gaming organization (Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association, not a member of ACM) has apparently been the victim of theft of gambling funds by organization employees. This is always hard to hear and tougher to understand. If your organization does not have a gambling committee you need to start one. If you suspect that something is going on in your organization that needs to be looked into you have an obligation to the organization to call attention to that. ACM has associate members that offer accounting services, accounting software, consulting and attorney services. The more eyes the better is great advice. 

  • 07 Sep 2018 05:39 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Sports themed tip boards are now available from your licensed distributor. Several versions have been approved for sale. Contact your distributor for details.

    On-line education for sports boards is available from the Gambling Control Board on their website.

    Legal sports boards are available for sale only through a licensed charity. All other sports boards offered for sale that are not sold through a licensed charity are illegal. If you see illegal sports boards being offered in your sites call the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division to report that activity. Their number is 651-201-7500 and you can remain anonymous. Allowing Illegal sports boards to be offered at the same time as legal sports boards will not help us to increase aid to our communities.

    Sports boards are a tool that has the potential to deliver incremental mission dollars to your organization. As ACM has said with all of the tools available to us, unless you try it you will not know if it is right for your organization. We have waited six years for this tool to be available to us, give them a try before you decide if they are right for your organization.

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