Public Protection Cabinet
Gaming Supports Charitable Organizations
Charitable gaming – bingo nights, festivals, raffles, and the like – provides more than just fun for participants. It is also a huge economic stimulus for the charitable organizations that conduct the games, says Henry Lackey, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming (DCG).
Lackey has been spreading the word about charitable gaming’s economic benefits in a new audio-visual presentation that he has shown to interested groups around the state.
“The central point that I make is that charitable gaming is a great opportunity to raise funds for worthy causes,” Lackey said. He has the figures to back it up.
In 2006, charitable gaming grossed $527 million for the more than 800 licensed charities. The average net profit for each organization after expenses was $71,000.
In his presentation, Lackey points out what the revenue from gaming can mean for a group. For example, the Hurricane Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Pikeville purchased badly needed equipment with gaming proceeds. An organization called Options Unlimited in Shepherdsville bought a $40,000 accessible van with bingo proceeds.
The state’s five largest charities have enjoyed net income ranging from $102,000 to $128,000 for the first three months of 2008. Altogether, gross sales from all charities have totaled $118 million for the first quarter.
While bingo nights are the most common activity, there are others, Lackey noted. Nearly half of registered charities conduct raffles, sell pulltabs, sponsor casino nights, or stage festivals.
“These activities require very little up-front money,” Lackey noted.
Who can game? A wide variety of groups, from churches, veterans groups, and volunteer fire departments, to schools, civic organizations, neighborhood associations, humane societies, art associations, and hospital foundations.
DCG provides training either in Frankfort or, upon request, throughout the state, to any interested group.
More information is available at DCG’s Web site, http://www.dcg.ky.gov.