Allied Charities of Minnesota

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  • 24 Nov 2019 12:33 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    State Senator Roger Chamberlain speaks about charitable gaming in MN.

    https://merrickinc.org/charitable-gambling/

  • 14 Nov 2019 08:40 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    stribarticle11142019.pdf

    All of our taxes (not just electronic taxes) go into the stadium fund after paying $36.9 million into the General Fund. Electronics compose roughly 25% of our overall tax payments. We are paying in double what is needed into the stadium fund to pay the $31 million stadium bond payments. 

  • 13 Nov 2019 09:10 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    The covention booklet is attached. There could be last minute changes, but this will give you an overall view of what will be happening next week. 

    2019conventionbooklet11132019.pdf

  • 04 Nov 2019 14:47 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    See attached.

    Seminar 15 on Thursday, November 21 at 3:40 pm is the Pulltabs Plus/Secret Service Seminar and Seminar 30 oh Friday, November 22 at 11:05 am is the Central Gaming Services Seminar.

    I apologize for the error.

    Regards,

    Al

    2019 rochester seminar descriptions 11012019.pdf

  • 04 Nov 2019 09:48 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Attached please find a letter from the Kahler Grand. They are renovating their hotel and wanted you to know the status of the renovation during your convention visit.

    The DoubleTree is upgrading their elevators. There is a chance that you will experience delays in accessing the elevators during your stay, but the hope is that any delays will be minimal.

    Attached are the seminar presenters, days, times and descriptions. Have your classes picked prior to coming to convention. The line-up of seminars is strong. 

    Attached is a fiscal year comparison of the Osseo Lions (I am a member) that was requested of me by my state legislator, Kristin Bahner. There are those that will say that the money that the Lions had for mission/community in FY19 was awesome. My take is that in those seven fiscal years we grew sales by over $2 million dollars, but had less to help those in need than we did in FY13. 

    Regards,

    Al Lund

    kahler10312019.pdf

    2019 rochester seminar descriptions 11012019.pdf

  • 17 Oct 2019 08:44 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,


    Please see the attached. The Convention/Expo is shaping up nicely. 


    We need members to apply for the regional and at-large positions. Regional director applications are due November 4 and at-large applications are due December 5. Be a part of the ACM board. 


    Tentative seminar schedule is attached. There is a possibility of changes, but we have commitments for everyone listed. Seminar descriptions will be out in a couple of weeks. 


    Seminar topics are quite varied and interesting. As an example, for their seminar time slot Pulltabs Plus is having the Secret Service speak about counterfeit money.  


    There are still hotel rooms available at the Kahler Grand, Kahler Inn and Suites, Home 2 Suites and Centerstone Plaza. All hotels will be serviced by shuttle.


    See you in Rochester.

    10172019update.pdf


  • 15 Aug 2019 16:18 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    What choices does a charity conducting gaming really have?

    Another charity shared their numbers with me. Their past five fiscal years to be exact. They more than doubled their sales over that time period, going from $1 million to $2.3 million. For all of their efforts they netted $8,000 more this past fiscal year than they made five years ago. They made one sixth of a cent on every dollar sold on the $1.3 million dollar increase in sales. The state made $50,000 more over that same time period or 3.8 cents per dollar wagered. Their expenses were not broken down into specifics such as wages, rent, cost of paper games and electronic revenue share.

    Our detractors would have others believe that what a charity gets to the bottom line is totally up to the charity. That it is only the charity that decides where the money goes. If the charity is getting little to the bottom line it is their choice, not anyone else’s. Let’s see about that:

    Sites: The charity can chose to go into a site or leave a site.

    Bar op/machine/booth op: Staffing a booth op takes people; machine and bar ops have costs as well. As word spreads among site owners of the money being made from having a bar op, more and more sites are taking that step. The charity has two options, go along or leave the site.

    Payout: One of the choices a charity does have. Competition is a factor, but at the end of day the charity decides what percentage games to play. The MN Lottery pays out on average 61% and at the end of the day they have the same money left that we do after we pay prizes and expenses (prior to taxes and donations) with less than half of our volume.

    Posting: Same as payout. Competition is a factor, but it is still your decision. Overall, payout is 4 to 6 percent higher if you post.

    Staffing: Charity decides at what level to staff i.e., booth op, site managers, assistants, etc., with the knowledge that the site may insist on the hours of operation of a booth thus impacting costs if the charity agrees.  

    Pay: Mandated by government for those not volunteering. Do I wish that nobody had to be concerned with paying bills and such? I wish that each and every one of us was independently wealthy and had no need for making money. The reality today is that very few of us can devote the time required to be a GM and do it for nothing. Our detractors in state government love pointing out that some GM’s are paid (taking money away from mission), but when I asked for help in coming up with guidelines for GM pay state government said that it was not their job.

    Forms to Offer (Tabs/Raffles/Bingo/Tipboards/Paddlewheels/Sports Boards): A choice made by the charity, but with conditions. If a site wants a particular form offered the charity needs to decide to agree, negotiate or leave the site.

    Games: The charity decides what games to play. Those that say that charities can save money by regularly price shopping distributors for savings are not our friends. If you play 60 paper tab games a month and saved $2 dollars a game by shopping around you would save $1,440 per year. Not making light of that amount, but it is penny wise and pound foolish thinking. Service was equally important to me when I was a GM. Our detractors want everyone focusing on the small potatoes and not the elephants in the room.

    External Annual Audits: Mandated by statute. $750,000 in sales in a given fiscal year and you are required to have one. At 85% payout that is $112,500 that you actually got to the bank to pay expenses and taxes.

    Monthly Reporting: Charities that are able to do their own monthly reporting without paying outside help are fortunate and small in number.

    Taxes: Even though it is lawful purpose there is nothing optional about it. Pay it or go to jail.

    Bottom line: In reality a charity has few (albeit important) areas under their control.

    Expenses and taxes go up each and every year. Our profit per dollar wagered declines each year. As we have seen the past several years, any increase in yearly sales has meant that the charity benefits the least on the increase. Payout, wages, cost of paper games, electronic revenue share, external audit, rent and taxes comprise 97% of our outflow. As an organization you should know what kind of bite each of those takes out of every dollar that your patrons impart to you. Send me your figures and I will be happy to review them.  

    Regards,

    Al Lund

  • 01 Aug 2019 06:24 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Below are two charities that have shared with me their Fiscal Year 2019 numbers.

    Charity A. On sales of $2.8 million (a decrease of $90,000 from FY2018) they got $45,000 to the bottom line for mission and community after paying prizes ($2.4 million), expenses ($220,000) and taxes ($135,000). Netted 1.6 cents on every dollar wagered, down from 1.7 cents in FY2018. Paid the state 4.7 cents per dollar wagered (nearly three times what they made). Paid $59,000 in rent or 2 cents per dollar wagered.

    Charity B. Increased sales over FY2018 by $600,000 to $4.7 million. Netted $136,000 for donations after paying prizes ($4.1 million), expenses ($281,000) and taxes ($183,000).  $136,000 sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? What could be wrong with having that much money to help mission and community? Let us peel the onion back a little further. Profit per dollar wagered down from 3.1 cents in FY2018 to 2.9 cents. Paid the state 3.8 cents per dollar wagered. How about what they netted on the increase of $639,000? Cleared $8,700, a whopping 1.3 cents per dollar wagered. Paid the state $33,000 more or 5.1 cents per dollar wagered. Paid the site $11,400 more or 1.7 cents per dollar wagered. Paid e-revenue share $14,000 more or 2.1 cents per dollar wagered. The charity made the least on every dollar of the increase.

    How did we ever get to a place where the state makes 4 times what the charity does on increased sales? We are continuing our slide down the profit ladder each and every fiscal year. And remember, these results are coming in at a time when the economy is as strong as it’s ever been. What’s going to happen when the economy slows and people have less discretionary income to spend? The future for our charities and the communities that we serve is not bright.

    Charities outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul are to be commended and thanked. The money that you send to St. Paul every month is very much appreciated. That collectively you are sending in over half of what you have left after paying your expenses is remarkable considering the needs in your own community.

    Minneapolis surely thanks you as they were supposed to start paying into the Vikings’ stadium fund (8 years after you did), but they are now asking for that IOU to be ripped up as you are more than covering the bonds (actually double what is needed).

    Those buying luxury suites at Vikings’ stadium (for up to $35,000 per game) surely thank you as the sales tax that they would have been paying on the cost of those suites (that would have gone into the Vikings’ stadium fund) has never been turned on as you are more than covering the bonds.

    The Wilf family surely thanks you as the city that they are building (practice facilities, offices, hotels, restaurants and shopping) just east of the airport would not have been possible without your financial support.

    Send me your FY 2019 numbers if you would like me to review them.

    Regards,

    Al


  • 18 Jul 2019 17:52 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Several items to catch you up on.

    Please see the attached for the obituary of Louis Karsnia, ACM board member. Louis was a strong advocate for charities. He understood better than most the pressures that charities are under to deliver on their missions. He will be missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Please see the attached for the May return of the Osseo Lions, of which I am a member. In May on $412,000 in sales we got $1,290 to the bottom line. We paid the state $20,600, the bar $4,600 and our electronic revenue share was $8,000. We made one third of a penny on every dollar wagered while the state made a nickel on every dollar wagered, which is sixteen times what we made. Our expenses are well below the state average yet after paying them we were required to send the state 78% of what remained.

    I wrote to both my state senator and state representative on this matter asking for their help and support.

    This year the Osseo Lions have had months where we lost money and have also been on the bottom rung of the profit ladder. These are not positive signs for charitable gaming, but are omens of what lies ahead for all charities with no changes. Osseo Lions are a charity with one site which we share with another charity. We are not a mega charity that we keep hearing about that are supposedly rolling in dough. Our system is broken and it needs to be fixed to continue.

    Lastly, an update on the search for a new executive director of the Gambling Control Board. I wanted you to know that after discussion with Rich Jaranson, ACM President, I applied for and was interviewed by GCB board members for the position.

    The GCB at their July board meeting this past Monday informed those in attendance that interviews have concluded and that it has forwarded names to the Governor for his consideration. My name was not forwarded to the Governor for consideration.

    The GCB said that the Governor will be conducting final interviews in August and we can expect an appointment in late August.

    I applied for a couple of reasons. I believed that it was important to have at least one candidate that had walked in your shoes. Someone who had lost sleep wondering if I would be able to make payroll or pay taxes. I understand what you are faced with on a daily basis, how important your work is and how little credit you are given for your efforts.

    I also believe that I understand charitable gaming as well as most everyone in the state and am capable of doing the job. Having someone who can explain to the Governor what is wrong with the system today would be a good thing.

    My fervent hope is that whomever the Governor appoints, that they will strive to understand the whole picture and not just the story that our detractors tell.

    Regards,

    Al

    LouisKarsnia.pdf

    OsseoLionsMay2019.pdf


  • 31 May 2019 06:04 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Note below was sent to the Star Tribune on Monday, May 27

    It ain’t my fault.  Osborne Brothers hit title. Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5RDEXpc8OY Also the gist of what legislators are telling me when I ask them why licensed gaming charities did not get tax relief this legislative session. It was their fault (the other party), not ours is what I am being told.

    Both sides of the aisle are now telling me that they were in favor of tax relief for charities, yet it did not get done for another year. Word was that even the Governor would not object, although that was never verified. If everyone was in favor of relief (or at least not against it), why would charities not have gotten tax relief?

    If what we are being told is true, it would follow that tax relief will be a slam dunk next session. Why do I doubt that to be true? Charities must not accept being told that everyone is in favor of relief for them, but somehow it never gets done.

    Charities deserve to know who is responsible for them not getting relief. I can give you a hundred million reasons ($100 million is what charities will have sent into state coffers by the end of FY2019) why I think that charities have earned the right to know.

    Legislators have the right to support or not support a particular issue. What they don’t have is the right to make citizens believe that they support a particular issue, but in fact do the opposite behind closed doors. Charities are asking legislators to tell them the truth as to why they did not get relief. At the very least they owe charities that.

    I had a friend tell me that legislators need to understand that support for charities means more than putting their name on a bill. It means that they actually lobby their fellow legislators and party leadership to make it happen. REMEMBER, WATCH WHAT THEY DO, NOT WHAT THEY SAY.

    Charities are almost to the point where we are going to be sending in double of what was asked of us in 2012, with no end to the state’s appetite for money meant for charity work in sight. Next fiscal year the state will spend $24 billion, $2 billion per month, $462 million per week, $66 million per day, $2.75 million per hour. The proposed relief for charities in the Senate Omnibus tax bill would have accounted for less than 4 hours of the overall budget.

    It is difficult to believe that 4 hours of relief could not have been found somewhere for charitable work. Relief for charities is not a gift, it is a reduction of an indefensible amount of taxation. The top charity tax rate would still have been 6.5 times what a for profit business in Minnesota pays.

    What is most disappointing is that state government continues to take advantage of not for profit veteran, church, civic, youth, fire, police and community groups whose only purpose is to serve others. The state’s indifference to charity contributions (FY2018) in the areas of economic stimulus ($150 million), taxation ($85 million) and philanthropy ($70 million) is hard to comprehend.

    2020 is an election year for all state senators and state representatives. Charities need to be asking their legislators if they are actually going to do something to help them get relief. If they are not willing to answer or say that they are not, that information needs to be shared with every charity in their district. Charities need to know who is truly with them on tax relief and who is against them.

    Promises will no longer be accepted. Results will be.  It is time to end the blame game and the support in name only game.  

    Al Lund, executive director Allied Charities of MN 501c6 trade association representing licensed non profits conducting charitable gaming.


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