|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 Ralph Hensley with the American Legion Post 18. I am commenting as a Legionnaire.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Promulgation of Charitable Regulations by the Department of Virginia. The 69-page document is comprehensive and covers charitable gaming open to the public (bingo) and gaming open to only members and occasional invited guests of the organization in the social quarters.
Current rules for proceeds expenditures of charitable gaming that are open to the public (bingo) are already in effect and followed. Compliance is monitored through quarterly and annual reporting with periodic inspections and audits.
Virginia’s American Legion Posts have complied with the Virginia Charitable Gaming Regulations and will continue to do so; however, the proposed regulation changes will severely impact the Posts. Some of these impacts are so severe that they will likely result in curtailment of mission requirements and possibility closure of Posts.
I am requesting the Commission restore the language that is in the current 18.2-340.19 A.1. and include it the proposed 18.2-340.19 A 1 to allow property expenses to be used as UOP.
I am also concerned with Use of Proceeds (UOP). On page 5 of the proposed Regulations Paragraph D the proposed guidelines for Use of Proceeds require that 40% of adjusted gross receipts be expended as UOP. As the legislation was being formed there was considerable discussion on whether to use gross or net receipts in this determination for electronic pull tabs. At the root of the discussion was that electronic pull tabs generated such large numbers it would be difficult to meet the 10% of gross receipts for UOP, so it was settled on using adjusted gross receipts. However, I believe 40% of Adjusted Gross Receipts is excessive and would be hard if not impossible for most organizations to achieve. The issue is further aggravated by not being able to charge the direct salary costs and inability to use the funds to support membership activities that foster camaraderie among the membership as our charter requires. Currently the guidelines require donations to outside charities while ignoring the fact we are the same type of charity and constantly helping ANY individual veterans and/or their families in need, not just our membership. Current UOP guidelines do not allow the use of funds promoting membership activities such as membership appreciation events. I believe that these activities are crucial to fulfilling the Legion's mission.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on proposed gaming regulations.