Newsmakers: Rep. Robbins on Keeping Charitable Gambling Dollars in Local Communities
Rep. Kristin Robbins is working on three different bills that would allow charitable gambling operations to keep more of their profits locally.
She has three bills to address the issue.
“I think one of the things that surprised me when I was first elected is I found out that the money that they pay when they do charitable gaming, like pull tabs or meat raffles, is it doesn’t just stay in the local community. The state takes a very substantial cut and all of the charities pay a tax to the state’s general fund,” said Robbins. “Most people believes [charitable gaming money] stays in the community, so I have a bill that would fully repeal this state tax on charitable gambling.”
Robbins has a separate bill that would limit the tax to five percent of gross receipts.
“It’s a real graduated tax at different levels of gross receipts,” explained Robbins. “It’s a crazy amount of money the state is taking in that’s already going to the general fund when we already have an 18-billion dollar surplus. I think that money is better spent by local charities in their communities.”
Robbins is most optimistic that her third bill could pass this legislative session.
“It would basically allow the veterans organization to keep some of their proceeds and use it for upgrading, repairing or maintaining their existing veteran’s facilities,” explained Robbins. “A lot of these VFWs or American Legions are getting older and in disrepair and need to be upgraded. They are spending so much giving money to the state and they are not able to keep it in-house and repair those facilities.”
Robbins says she’s heard from several veterans organizations who are supportive of the bill.
“They are losing membership and it’s getting harder to maintain their organization, so this would be a way where they can keep the money for their local organization,” said Robbins. “I keep making the case for everyone I talk to for if you are going to get involved in sports betting, you’ve got to get involved with the charities. The charities should be taken care of first, especially our veteran’s charities. They should be able to use this money for their own local VFWs and American Legions.”