|Action||Promulgation of Charitable Gaming Regulations by Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, including electronic gaming provisions|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/23/2022|
I am deeply concerned about the changes to the charitable gaming laws that have and will impact many important community organizations, including those that serve vulnerable populations within our neighborhoods.
The new rules will force the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization and and other VSOs to expend social quarters gaming proceeds to outside organizations and not use them for the mission of the organization. The VFW Congressional Charter states the purpose of our organization is fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational, and is to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members. It meets the same criteria as organizations we must donate to. We work with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to ensure ALL veterans and their families are taken care of, support our military and their families, as well as other local charities.
Areas of concern in the proposed regulations are as follows:
1. The proposed requirements mandate that organizations have a manager/employee on site and working while electronic gaming is being played. This is the entire time a social quarter is open. We would be obligated to pay those individuals as employees, as the amount of time the post is open would not allow for trained volunteer shifts.
1A. Allow the wages and salaries related to gaming activities be charged to UOP with the remainder being charged to business expenses.
2. Organizations must be able to provide a safe and secure area to play the machines, and this requires us to use the proceeds from the gaming to help keep the social quarters up to speed.
2A. Restore the language that allows direct real property expenses to be charged to UOP with remainder charged to business expense.
3. Using 40% UOP with proposed restrictions is an unattainable percentage for the organizations. We must pay the manufacturers their fair share and what’s left isn’t enough to cover the authorized business expenses.
3A. Revisit the 40% UOP requirement for electronic pull tabs and adjust the requirement to a lower figure of 10%.
4. The congressional charter for the VFW states that our purpose is fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational, and is to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members.
4A. We are the very definition of what UOP can be used for. Allow the use of gaming funds used within the organization and to support membership functions, such as appreciation dinners to support our volunteer base.
5. Letting the organizations know what is allowed and required three months after the beginning of the reporting period is unacceptable. Simply telling them to just do the best they can allows for errors and places a tremendous burden on the body of the organization. It places undo stress on the administrators trying to do what is right and legally required.
5A. Establish a grace period to allow the organizations to update their business processes and reporting requirements to comply with the new guidelines.
6. The proposed "reconciliation requirements" were changed regarding Bingo. They used to be easily tended to after each session. However, trying to address the new rules on a never-ending game or partially-played game is hugely cumbersome and almost impossible to complete with accuracy. In the social quarters, a box of pull-tabs could take days or even weeks to complete, it is impractical to empty the machine to count how many tickets are left.
6A. Revisit the daily reconciliation procedures and adopt procedures that are less cumbersome for both paper and electronic pull tabs. (For example, reconcile when each box is completed.)
7. In today’s world, checks are all but obsolete. Online purchases require a credit card, as does gas, food, hotel, or transportation for a needy family.
7A. Allow the use of credit cards for authorized expenditures and donations, paid from the gaming account. The credit card statement and/or receipt can be tied to the account.
Thank you for your consideration and supporting our veteran community.