WHEREAS there is a great need for charitable organizations to find ways to raise funds to maintain and expand their operations in Alberta for the good of the residents of the Province of Alberta; and
WHEREAS there is a large disparity between the frequency of opportunities available to rural charitable organizations and the funding provided compared with charitable organizations in major urban communities, with an average difference of $60,000; and
WHEREAS the challenges of rural charitable organizations regarding access to casinos and the distribution of proceeds from casinos has been formally under review since at least 2009 with limited progress; and
WHEREAS the membership of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) approved a resolution at its November 2016 convention urging the Government of Alberta to change Alberta’s charitable gaming model so as to provide equity to all charitable organizations in Alberta, by addressing the disparity between the funding provided, and the frequency of opportunities available to charitable organizations in major urban centers compared with those in rural communities, and
WHEREAS although it appears that the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) acknowledges the challenges of rural municipalities associated with accessing funding through casinos, to date, neither Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, nor the AGLC, have indicated any timeline for implementation of any change to Alberta’s current charitable gaming model; and
WHEREAS it would be beneficial and expedient to establish a committee consisting of representatives from the AAMDC membership to support the work planned by the AGLC, under the authority of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, in reviewing the province’s current charitable gaming model;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties establish an advisory committee with a mandate to provide a rural perspective in support of the efforts of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s commitment in moving forward with changes in the charitable gaming funding to treat all organizations equally across the province.
March 2010 – MLA Advisory Committee that was tasked to Review Eligible Organizations’ Access to and Distribution of Proceeds from Licensed Casino Events issued a report with six (6) recommendations to the Minister responsible for the AGLC. Executive summary for the report is attached. Full report can be found at http://aglc.ca/pdf/news/MLA_AdvisoryCommitteeReport.pdf
Fall 2016 AAMDC Convention – Resolution 20-16F Casino Opportunities for Charitable Organizations was supported by the AAMDC membership for advocacy.
Government response from the Treasury Board and Finance to Resolution #20-16F included the following:
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by charitable organizations in relation to the current charitable gaming model, as well as the efforts made by stakeholders to raise these concerns with government. The AGLC considers this issue a top priority among its current initiatives.
The AGLC has reviewed previous reports on charitable gaming in Alberta and recently conducted a new cross-jurisdictional assessment of charitable funding from gaming streams. Based on its research, the AGLC has confirmed that there is a need to address deficiencies in the effectiveness, integrity and sustainability of Alberta’s charitable gaming model. The AGLC is presently developing strategies to address the same.
The AGLC recognizes the importance of charitable gaming funding to organizations across the province and is committed to moving forward with changes in a timely manner. At the same time, the AGLC wants to ensure that any changes to the model provide not only immediate stakeholder benefits, but also long-term sustainability.
The AAMDC reaction and follow-up to the AGLC response to Resolution #20-16F reports that the AGLC indicates an acknowledgement that the current gaming model is disadvantageous to charities operating in rural Alberta. The AAMDC has assigned a status of “Accepted in Principle” to Resolution #20-16F, and will be re-evaluated by the AAMDC based when the review of the current model begins.
Unfortunately, although it appears that the AGLC acknowledges the challenges of rural municipalities associated with charitable casinos, to date, neither Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, nor the AGLC, have indicated any timeline for implementation of any change to Alberta’s current charitable gaming model. It is likely that resolution 20-16F will expire prior to a new model being proposed.
Resolutions have been supported by the AAMDC membership since at least 2002, and formally under review by the province since 2009 with very limited progress.
The following resolutions are currently in the AAMDC Resolution database:
The AAMDC has formed or participated in a wide variety of Advisory Committees over the years, bringing expertise and the rural perspective to the issues. A few examples of Advisory Committee include, but are not limited to the following:
|AAMD&C-AUMA Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Issues||EFP Stakeholder Advisory Committee|
|AAMD&C-AUMA Advisory Committee on Cost-Sharing for Success: A Pro-active Approach||FireSmart Advisory Committee|
|Ambulance Governance Advisory Council||MGA Review Advisory Committee|
|Climate Change Advisory Committee||Strategic Transportation Advisory Committee|
At the time of drafting this resolution, Treasury Board and Finance indicated that a FOIPP request was required to obtain information on the charities that have participated in casinos and the amounts that they received.
20-16F: Casino Opportunities for Charitable Organizations
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to change Alberta’s charitable gaming model so as to provide equity to all charitable organizations in Alberta, by addressing the disparity between the funding provided, and the frequency of opportunities available to charitable organizations in major urban centers compared with those in rural communities.
DEVELOPMENTS: The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) response indicates an acknowledgement that the current charitable gaming model is disadvantageous to charities operating in rural Alberta. The AAMDC is pleased that the AGLC is planning to revise the current model and hopes to be a part of the process. As such, this resolution is assigned a status of Accepted in Principle and will be re-evaluated based when the review of the current model begins.
RMA recruited members and initiated the committee in spring 2018. Since then, the committee has met several times. In December 2018, the committee finalized their report and recommendations, which were endorsed by the RMA Board of Directors. The committee also presented their findings to members at the Spring 2019 convention.
The Government of Alberta began a review of the charitable gaming model in early 2019, which was postponed indefinitely due to the provincial election. RMA is advocating to the Government of Alberta for a resumption of the review. If the review resumes, RMA will re-share the committee’s recommendations with rural municipalities and charitable organizations to support their participation. This resolution is assigned a status of Accepted.