|Action||Promulgation of Charitable Gaming Regulations by Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, including electronic gaming provisions|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/23/2022|
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.
VFW Post 637 depends on the proceeds from gaming in our social quarters to supplement Post operations and provide support and benefit local non-profit organizations as well as members that fall within the stated mission of the organization. It also strengthens the Veterans and families of our organization as well as our local community.
We use the proceeds from charitable gaming to provide monetary donations to organizations such as Fire Departments, Police Departments, Schools, Youth Athletic Programs, Special Olympics, local scout troops, senior organizations, food banks, and countless others.
The new requirement that is being proposed will definitely require major changes in the way business is conducted within our post as well as most posts within the State of Virginia. In fact, it may cause some Posts to close their doors permanently.
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. The sheer number of hours would require us to pay these employees.
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. Letting the organizations know what is allowed and required 3 months after the beginning of the reporting period is unacceptable and then telling them to just do the best they can, doesn’t make much sense. It puts a lot of stress on the administrators trying to do what is right.
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 taken from Bingo that is easily accomplished after each session. Trying to accomplish this on a never-ending game or partially played came 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. Maybe 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, that paid from the gaming account. The credit card statement and/or receipt can be tied to the account.
On behalf of VFW Post 637 and its community, I ask that you reconsider these regulations and think of the hardships you will be conflicting on our organization and community. The future of our organization and the charities and other non-profit organizations we support depend on it. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
James W Cooper Jr.
VFW Post 637