Lucky seven? Calgary community associations hope casino cash flow will remain stable

(OMAR SHERIF / LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

Calgary community associations fear that an overhaul of the province’s charitable gaming revenues will result in less money for local groups.

The Federation of Calgary Communities (FCC) and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) have teamed up to write a letter to Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews expressing their concerns. They urged the minister in the September 24 letter not to cut funding for community organizations in the province’s two largest cities.

“Potential changes to the casino model and revenue distribution across Alberta would significantly affect the ability of community associations and leagues in Calgary and Edmonton to build and operate their public facilities,” the letter said.

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This in turn would harm the public infrastructure on which residents of these cities depend for physical activity, social cohesion and even child care.

He also says the organizations they represent have built and maintained over $ 750 million in community infrastructure over the past century.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis began its review of charitable gaming in 2019 to identify and resolve potential issues with the system. Charity play is the system by which approved charities can apply to participate in casino nights, bingos, raffles, and ticket events to collect a portion of the receipts.

Groups raise between $ 9,000 and $ 60,000, depending on the region of Alberta.

Concerns raised in an initial survey included wait times to access events and how the money was distributed. The province continued public engagement early this year. A decision on what to do next is expected soon.

Don’t Rip the Rug: Leslie Evans

Leslie Evans, executive director of the FCC, said there should be changes to the system, but cutting funding for many of these groups would be devastating.

Evans said it would be the second blow to community associations in the still shocked city of a cut the province’s Community Facilities Improvement Program (PEFC). It was almost 50 percent.

The program was somewhat supplemented by the Civil Society Fund, which allocated $ 20 million over three years. Evans said the groups that qualified for the money had been significantly expanded.

“It is public infrastructure that concerns us. The government withdrew all the funding; they built these organizations in the 60s, 70s and 80s for the most part and now there is no lifecycle money left, ”Evans said.

“The taxpayer, the city taxpayer, is going to end up with a whole bunch of rubble, that’s what’s going to happen.”

Charity Games Review The… through Darren krause

With casino funds potentially reduced and CFEP funding reduced, Evans said the biggest success was ultimately less funding from the city. This is because most of the city’s funding comes from casino and CFEP money.

In an emailed response, the province said the AGLC had listened to concerns from charities in Alberta.

They are looking at the issues raised and will work to find a solution that works for both charities and the AGLC, ”read a response from Kassandra Kitz, senior Treasury and Finance press secretary. Alberta.

“They will have more to say about this soon, but they remain committed to ensuring that charities continue to effectively raise funds through charity gaming.

Calgarians need to worry

Evans said it has an impact on anyone who uses community rinks, parks and community association buildings.

She hopes more people will sit down and take note.

“It’s important that Calgarians start to listen and to pay attention, otherwise these amenities will disappear and it will be impossible to get them back,” she said.