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Gaming Commission collects $2.94 million

July 07, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

The Washington County Gaming Commission collected $2.94 million from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, it announced in a press release on Thursday.

The amount was higher than the fiscal year 2006 revenue of $2.88 million, but lower than the $3 million collected in fiscal year 2005, according to a report by James B. Hovis, the gaming commission's director.

The gaming commission collects a percentage of profits from tip-jar, bingo and other games around the county. Private clubs contribute 15 percent of their gaming profits to the fund, while taverns and liquor stores contribute 50 percent.

Half of the gaming commission's collections must go to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, according to a state statute. Charities bid for the rest of the money in a round of public hearings.

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The gaming commission has received 128 requests from 99 organizations for this year's available collections, which total $1.47 million, said Norman Bassett, Washington County's director of public information.

Those organizations will bid for the money on July 18 and 19. The money will be distributed to charitable organizations in August.

Last year, money was distributed to 83 charities, including the American Red Cross of Washington County, Hagerstown YMCA, REACH, Community Free Clinic, Habitat for Humanity of Washington County and Discovery Station.

The seven-member gaming commission was established by the state legislature in 1995 to ensure that gaming revenue is equitably distributed.

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