LOCALS SPEAK OUT ON VIDEO GAMING ISSUES

Nick Griffith, Secretary of Fort Wayne Fraternal Order of Eagles #248, 4940 Bluffton Road said, “It wasn’t just the lack of machines that hurt us.  We also received a $25,000 unexpected personal property tax bill.  That coupled with the loss of the gaming machines at a time in the summer when revenues are seasonally low has really hurt us.  The money we usually give to charities is simply not there.”  “I feel that the State should issue certificates that would allow the clubs to have gaming machines and then collect a set fee each year for each machine.  That would give the State their tax revenue yet allow us to stay profitable with a minimum amount of paperwork.”
Nick Griffith, Secretary of Fort Wayne Fraternal Order of Eagles #248, 4940 Bluffton Road said, “It wasn’t just the lack of machines that hurt us. We also received a $25,000 unexpected personal property tax bill. That coupled with the loss of the gaming machines at a time in the summer when revenues are seasonally low has really hurt us. The money we usually give to charities is simply not there.” “I feel that the State should issue certificates that would allow the clubs to have gaming machines and then collect a set fee each year for each machine. That would give the State their tax revenue yet allow us to stay profitable with a minimum amount of paperwork.”
State Rep. Ben GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) asked the Indiana State Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) to provide proof that recent crackdowns on video gaming machines in Allen County were generated through citizen complaints, rather than an effort to protect Indiana’s gambling industry.

GiaQuinta said he has filed a formal Freedom of Information request with the agency to gain more information on allegations made by the Indiana Excise Police that led them to conduct raids on various American Legion Posts and other businesses in the Fort Wayne area.

“If my constituents are the people who are generating these complaints, that is something I need to know,” GiaQuinta said. “However, I have yet to receive the first constituent phone call concerning these machines. I have received calls from officials with local American Legion Posts expressing their concern over the ability to continue their operations.”

“I find it interesting that, after years of operating with few complaints, we are asked to believe that citizens unleashed a barrage of complaints about these machines just a couple of months after Gov. Mitch Daniels took office,” he added. “I have a hard time believing that coincidence. I believe the governor should level with the public and admit that the recent crackdown is the result of new policies through his office.”

GiaQuinta stated that any decision about enforcement of current law is in the hands of the governor and his appointees.

“They should level with the public and simply admit that state sponsored gambling is the only gambling they will allow,” GiaQuinta said. “We have lost any moral argument in this matter by legalizing lotteries and off-track betting. The people behind this should go ahead and admit that the recent crackdown is being caused by the state and the legal gambling industry protecting their financial interests.”

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the state ABC had up to seven days to respond to a request received in writing.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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