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.”"
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