Casino review needed

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Whether they’re based in rural areas or cities, charities and non-profit organizations should have equal access to charity casino events.

Unfortunately this is not the case and a promised review by the Province and Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) must ensure a level playing field for all organizations.

Under the program as it currently stands, organizations from rural areas get fewer casinos and the payout they receive is lower when compared to their urban counterparts.

Both the AGLC and Alberta finance minister Joe Ceci said they are well aware of the situation and it will be reviewed in the new year to look at potential changes. This is good news for the parent councils, service clubs and myriad of other Foothills organizations that rely on the funds they get from casino events.

Rural groups are no-less deserving than their urban counterparts.

The charity casino program is a positive social partnership where casinos, the Province and non-profit organizations are able to share benefits.

Alberta charitable organizations received $240 million from casino events during the 2016-’17 fiscal year, ending March 31. This is a massive windfall for organizations and communities of all sizes across Alberta.

The Province now needs to make sure these funds are fairly and equitably distributed.

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