The State Lottery Commission is trying to shut down charities that host “casino night” fundraisers which use gaming devices that are rather illegal under state law. These plans have brought on an influx of criticisms, especially from businesses that provide the space for these events.
The Lottery Commission considers that because someone is giving $100 to play at such a charity event, a casino somewhere is losing $100. Gary Haskins, president of an organization which hosts such events says that is completely wrong. He states that out of the many organizations they’ve thrown such events for, this particular casino night is the largest fund-raising event of the year. He doubts that all charitable casino nights in the state could garner more than $1 million in revenue.
At a recent Lottery Commission meeting, ways to stop the proliferation of these charitable casino nights were proposed. They said that they are violating a law and taking away money from official casinos, which have to pay $2.5 million a year for their casino licenses plus a sizable portion of their gaming revenues in privilege taxes. They consider that it’s not fair for the casinos and every person playing at a charitable event might reconsider going to an actual casino.
Harkins though doubts that the people attending the charitable events overlap with those who regularly frequent casinos. If anything, he said, attending a charitable casino night might actually attract some people to visit a real casino in the future. Hopefully they will find a reasonable compromise to all of this.