Proposed change in tip jar law could benefit charities

February 03, 1998


Staff Writer

A proposed change to Washington County's tip jar law would give the Gaming Commission an extra $300,000 each year to distribute to fire companies and charities.

A projected $2.45 million would be collected by the gaming commission in the fiscal year starting July 1 with the change, instead of $2.15 million under the existing law, according to Kathy Sterling, Gaming Commission director.

Fire and rescue companies get 40 percent of the gaming fund and charities receive 60 percent.

Under the existing law, the percentage of gross profits clubs must give to charity would rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent next year. The clubs can give up to half of that percentage directly to charities. The other half must go to the gaming fund.


Under the proposal, which must be passed by the Maryland General Assembly, the flat 15 percent would go to the gaming fund. Any charitable contributions or in-kind services provided directly by clubs would not count toward the percentage clubs must give to the gaming fund.

Sterling said the commission was spending about $40,000 a year on legal expenses, mostly from frivolous lawsuits.

Sterling said if the change in the law is passed, the commission would also be able to save $15,000 in contracted costs because of the reduction in paperwork required to keep tabs on the clubs' direct and in-kind gifts to charities.

Clubs would save time because their paperwork burden would lessen, and clubs could keep a greater percentage of tip jar profits.

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