BC Association of Charitable Gaming writes Open Letter to Minister Rich Coleman on the Legality of Gaming Cuts

The British Columbia Association of Charitable Gaming, which represents over 7000 charities across British Columbia, has issued an open letter to Minister Coleman in response to his remarks to the media last Friday, in which he claimed that Gaming cuts to B.C. charities and non-profits were not illegal because the agreement to give 33% of Gaming revenues to charity was just an ‘understanding’ and was not legally binding.

The BCACG's open letter, as well as a brief explaining the law surrounding Gaming grants to charities, can be found on the BCACG website: http://bcacg.com/

Minister Coleman’s remarks came in response to a press conference held by the BCACG on Thursday October 14 at Vancouver City Hall. At that press conference, the BCACG called for Vancouver City Council to refuse to proceed on the BC government’s application to expand gaming in the municipality, including the expansion of the Edgewater Casino, until the government has agreed to live up to its legally binding agreement to fund charities.

B.C. charities have actively supported and enabled the expansion of B.C. gambling--mistakenly believing that this would bring them a share of the proceeds.  Their participation and support in municipal expansion hearings has been decisive in councilors agreeing to allow more and more slot machines and casinos in their communities across the province.

This has brought hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new money to the B.C. treasury, but not a dime of that new money has gone to the charities that made it possible, and for whose benefit municipal councils agreed to gambling expansion in the first place. 

In fact, while net earnings from gambling expansion have risen 292% from 1995, your ministry has starved charities, giving them 14% less in 2010 than they got 15 years ago--to a total of $112.5 million.

The BCACG repeats our request of Vancouver City Council that it not proceed on the Edgewater Casino until the province adheres to or renegotiates its binding contractual obligations.

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