Bill heard to grant charitable gambling organizations flexibility during pandemic

A bill heard this week would provide flexibility and accommodations to veterans and fraternal clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill as amended would allow these clubs to loan lawful gambling funds to the organization’s general account for emergency expenditures such as reopening their primary headquarters for non-gambling-related purposes or to meet a financial obligation due that would require the organization to close its primary headquarters if not met.

Any loans made from their lawful gambling funds would need to be repaid to the gambling account within one calendar year, and organizations must suspend gambling practices until the entire amount has been repaid. Applications for loans must be received by the organization’s board no later than 90 days following the end of the peacetime emergency, and any plan for the termination of lawful gambling made by the organization must also include a plan for loan repayment.

There are also certain regulatory changes being proposed, some of which include increasing the amount of time charitable gambling organizations are automatically on probation for failing to distribute certain percentages of gambling gross profits, which was increased from one year to two years.

Senate DFLers are turning over all stones to find ways to help our small businesses and non-profits weather this pandemic, and this bill is another small way government can help.

The bill is not anticipated to be controversial and was sent to the Senate Floor. (SF 512)