Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Fergus Falls Daily Journal - Smoking ban, economy blamed for decrease in gambling revenue

The Fergus Falls Daily Journal - Smoking ban, economy blamed for decrease in gambling revenue:

"Charitable gambling revenue — much of which comes from pull-tabs — is down in many areas of Otter Tail County and Minnesota in general since the smoking ban went into effect this past Oct. 1.
In Fergus Falls, the American Legion and VFW pump thousands of dollars into youth programs each year. Any drop in pull-tab revenue and a decrease in other revenue coming from bingo, meat raffles and similar charitable operations, could have adverse effects.
Fergus Falls American Legion, which provides more than $10,000 annually to the local American Legion baseball program, is seeing revenues from pull-tabs and bingo down roughly 25 percent since the smoking ban went into effect.
Charlie Lindstrom, gambling manager and adjutant for the Fergus Falls American Legion cautions, however, that it’s not just the smoking ban that’s affecting pull-tab revenues. He sees revenue drops at both the Legion club on the south side of Fergus Falls and also at Five Star Bingo which the Legion operates on the north side of downtown.
“Certainly, we’re losing some pull-tab revenue at both locations, with the smoking ban a major factor,” Lindstrom said. “At the same time, however, I’m convinced that some people are simply spending less money on gambling. People have less disposable income.”"

Journal and Courier Online - News

Journal and Courier Online - News:

"Mom's Place, a tavern on Lafayette's north end, went from pulling in $25,000 a month to $10,000 a month as customers who used to play the devices no longer came in.
'People here like to gamble. Doesn't matter if it's slots or lottery tickets,' Nobile said. 'Business went down for us. And think about it -- we pay sales tax every month, not just alcohol but food. That's a lot of money the state is not getting.'
She supports House Bill 1153, which would allow bars and taverns in Indiana to offer pull tabs and other low-stakes gambling."

Bill Targets Illegal Gambling Machines - Politics News Story - WRC | Washington

Bill Targets Illegal Gambling Machines - Politics News Story - WRC Washington:

"'These machines have sprung up almost like a disease,' Miller said, answering reporters' questions about the bill, which is set to be introduced Wednesday.
Supporters say the recent proliferation of illegal gambling machines in southern Maryland and other parts of the state must be stopped, because they are creating an underground economy with no state oversight.
'We need to take the money out of these private entrepreneurs who are operating illegally in the state and what we need to do is get a handle on this so that the state can once again get control of the lottery revenues,' Miller, D-Calvert, said.
The measure targets gambling on electronic slot machines, video poker, electronic bingo and electronic pull tabs.
Sen. Thomas 'Mac' Middleton, D-Charles, is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, and Delegate Frank Turner, D-Howard, is sponsoring a similar measure in the House.
Anne Arundel and Calvert counties are allowed to use instant bingo machines for charitable purposes. The trouble apparently took root after people saw them being used, causing bars and restaurants in Baltimore city and other counties to start setting them up too, without authorization."

Monday, February 18, 2008

South Bend Tribune: The hard facts on 'easy' money

South Bend Tribune: The hard facts on 'easy' money:

"The fact is, every grocery and drugstore, gas station and convenience stop sells lottery tickets these days. They're sold over the counter or from vending machines.

There is a casino within a short drive of virtually every Hoosier. Casinos started out as riverboats and have edged ever farther inland. Of course we also have horse tracks -- now with slot machines.

This year the General Assembly is contemplating allowing pull tabs -- low-stakes paper gambling methods -- in bars and

The argument is one of fairness: Pull tabs are allowed at bars operated by charitable lodges. The edge this gives the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and others is hurting bar business. To compete, bar owners say, bars need a gambling draw of their own.

That argument ignores the fact that nonprofit fraternal organizations, unlike for-profit bars, use their income for causes that often benefit their communities. But the central concern is this: Easy money comes from the pockets of hard-working people. Some of them are Hoosiers who can't afford to lose the dollars they put on the ponies or pump into slot machines."

Indiana considers pull-tabs at bars

Indiana considers pull-tabs at bars:

"INDIANAPOLIS -- It used to be easy to gamble at the Marengo Tavern in Crawford County.
Customers could play electronic games like Cherry Masters or buy paper pull-tabs at the bar. A few times the place got busted, forcing owner Tony Main to pay fines.

But with last year's statewide crackdown on illegal wagering, the Marengo Tavern was forced to stop the games, a move that has made paying the bills a bit of a struggle, Main conceded.
Now, the Indiana General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow the Marengo Tavern to bring back at least some of its gambling business -- this time legally."

Monday, February 04, 2008

State may take a chance on pull tabs

Indiana lawmakers appear ready to expand gambling by giving bars and taverns the right to offer paper pull tabs.
The legislation would allow paper gaming -- pull tabs, punchboards and tip boards -- in Indiana businesses that are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. The bill also would:• Limit games to be sold for a maximum of $1.• Require that $1 games have a 75 percent payout.• Require 25-cent games to pay out at a rate of 65 percent; dime games would pay out at 60 percent.• Charge a 10 percent excise tax on an establishment's purchase of the games.• Distribute revenue generated from the excise tax to cities, towns and school districts in that county.• Distribute two-thirds of the tax money to municipalities and one-third to schools.• Divvy up tax revenue based on population and enrollment.• Place the Indiana Gaming Commission in charge of regulating the games.WHAT'S NEXTThe Indiana House voted 62-36 to pass HB 1153 on to the Senate. The legislation has been assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee. That committee's chairman, Sen. Robert L. Meeks, R-LaGrange, has signed on as a sponsor of the bill. A hearing date for the legislation has not been set.
Under legislation passed by the Indiana House last week, more than 7,000 bars, taverns and restaurants across the state would be allowed to offer the pull tabs and other forms of low-stakes gambling.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it already has received support from some key lawmakers.
This marks the second consecutive year that state legislators have considered proposals that would expand gambling in Indiana. Last year, they voted to allow slot machines at the state's two horse tracks.