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Clubs face gaming panel bill

May 21, 1998|By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Washington County will bill 14 clubs for $50,219 that a private accounting firm says is owed to the Washington County Gaming Commission.

An audit of the clubs' contributions by Smith Elliott Kearns & Co. found that 14 out of 31 clubs didn't donate enough money or provide enough in-kind services to charities as required under the tip jar law from July 1, 1996 to June 30, 1997, according to Gaming Commission Director Kathy Sterling.

The County Commissioners approved billing the clubs Tuesday.

Sterling said that an audit is also being performed on the in-kind services and direct contributions required by clubs in the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Under the revision to the tip jar law passed this year, the amount of a club's gross profits that must go to charity will stay the same at 15 percent. However, all of the 15 percent must go to the Gaming Commission.

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In the current year, 7.5 percent goes to the Gaming Commission and up to 7.5 percent must be directly contributed by the clubs to charities in cash or in-kind contributions.

In the 1996-97, year, 5 percent went to the Gaming Commission and up to 5 percent directly to charities.

If the clubs don't provide enough in-kind or direct contributions, they must reimburse the Gaming Commission, Sterling said.

In the letter, any clubs disputing the bills are invited to sit down with Sterling to discuss their concerns.

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