Don't put service organizations at disadvantage

December 6, 2012

I would like to address the recent crackdown on charitable gaming devices.

I am a vendor of these devices and I have a few questions for our local government.  I have heard from numerous sources that the reason for the crackdown was because of complaints that spouses are spending their rent and mortgage payments.  I would like to ask the government, what do they do when they get the same complaints from the spouses who go to the legalized casinos?  Some people complain, just to complain.  If you have a spouse who goes overboard in these little clubs, closing them down is not going to cure the problem they are having.

The charitable gaming devices that I supply are “games of skill” similar to the ones found in the arcades and we do not entice people to play these devices with “brand new cars or thousands of dollar jackpots” and then subsidize Gamblers Anonymous to have them “cured.”

These are operated in fraternal nonprofit organizations that put back into the communities.  They pay for heating oil, food and clothing for people who have lost their jobs, make Christmas a little merrier for the children of a parent who is all alone.  They have dinners for hundreds of people at their respective clubs and their children when they have no food in their cupboard. They support boys clubs, scouts and Home of the Brave, just to name a few.  They transport veterans to and from the veteran’s hospital which is the least we can do for these brave men and women who have served.  These are just a few of the people that these charitable gaming devices help.

I have attended several meetings over the past few weeks with commanders, governors and finance officers of these organizations and it is clear that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being put back into Delaware and our communities.  It is public record.  Can you, Delaware government, not see the handwriting on the wall if you do not do something positive for these clubs and do it now?

Thousands of dollars are spent in the casinos and now with the new Keno and sports betting allowed in places that children go to eat lunch, dinner and have birthday parties.  What is Delaware thinking, exposing our children to this out in the open?  The fact that this letter the was sent to these fraternal organizations which was dated Oct. 22 and delivered one week after the elections on Veterans Day makes a lot of us wonder what the real agenda is from some of our legislators.

It would be a shame for the atate of Delaware to not to allow something to continue during this time of year while you contemplate the future for these non-profit organizations.  It is not only the future of the nonprofits, but of all the employees who are involved and the trickle down effect it will have on others from the beverage napkin companies, food suppliers to the liquor companies.   How many people will you put out of work and have to support before it dawns on you?

I am one of five small businesses in this state who pays federal and state income taxes on the money that I earn from my charitable gaming devices along with the yearly state licenses fees and the business licenses.

By the time you get to legislation and figure out how to handle this, several people will be out of jobs and several organizations will be closed and it will take years for these nonprofits to get back to where they are now physically and financially and you will be putting us small businesses out of business.

Where in all of this are the promises, made before the election for more jobs, less unemployment and less government involvement and more for the small businesses.

Rita Falcone

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