Last Tuesday Washington County Circuit Court Judge Fred Wright III ruled against 23 of the county's private clubs in a lawsuit filed over tip-jar proceeds. We believe this action will put the issue back where it belongs - before the Maryland General Assembly, where some other issues can be cleared up at the same time.
The clubs had sought Judge Wright's endorsement of their view that the "gross profits" on which payments to the Washington County's Gaming Commission are made should not include the cost of the tip jars, or the stickers required by county law.
In the law, it states that gross profits "means the total proceeds from the operation of a tip jar, less the amount of prizes or money winnings distributed." The clubs' suit argued that because the jar is paid for before the "operation of the jar" begins, the clubs should at least be able to deduct that cost before figuring up gross profits.