Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Vancouver Sun reports that the British Columbia Association for Charitable Gaming is threatening to sue the British Columbia government for failing to pay over the share of gambling revenues allegedly owed to charities. According to the association, the provincial government pledged in a 1999 Memorandum of Understanding to transfer at least 33 percent of net gambling revenues to charitable organizations. The story reports that according to the government's own annual reports, the transfers to charities have been below this amount for at least the past six years. While the shortfall was relatively small initially, with 30 percent of C$438.6 million in net gambling revenues transferred in 2003-04, the percentages have declined to 19 percent of $834.3 million in 2008-09 and a proposed 15 percent of C$1.08 billion budgeted for 2009-10. The minister in charge of Housing and Social Development, and therefore the gaming revenue and charity grants, asserts that certain grants are not counted in these figures but otherwise has not apparently responded to the charges.