Cumberland Times-News

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October 13, 2012

Decline of gaming revenue slows down

CUMBERLAND — While paper gaming revenue in Allegany County continued a decline in fiscal year 2012, the decline slowed, said gaming officials. The games help fund the Board of Education and county fire departments.

“The good news is, we came in above projections,” said Gerald Joy, the county’s gaming administrator.

The projection was that revenues for 2012 would be $421,000, or $54,000 less than in 2011. The actual revenues were $437,399, Joy said. That meant $223,793 for education and $74,598 for the 28 volunteer fire and rescue departments.

Joy gave a summary of last year’s gaming results to Allegany County commissioners at last week’s regular commission meeting at county offices on Kelly Road.

The gaming office is self-supporting and required $139,008 for its operations in fiscal year 2011. That was an increase of 25 percent, largely due to fringe benefits and fuel cost increases, Joy said.

County revenue from the games was $425,295 in fiscal 2010 and $451,048 in fiscal 2009.

Allegany County and Washington County are the only two counties in the state that have legally regulated paper gaming. The games are offered at nonprofit clubs and for-profit taverns, liquor stores and convenience stores.

The nonprofits are required to hand out most of their revenues to organizations like Little League, the Red Cross and scholarship funds.

Convenience store revenues were down 11 percent or $3,006 from last year, club revenues were down 4 percent of $6,871 and tavern revenues were also down 15 percent or $13,281.

Liquor store revenues were up though by 13 percent, or $15,470, Joy said in his 49-page report to commissioners.

Clubs provided the largest portion of tax revenues to the county at 44 percent, or $179,376.

Taverns provided 26 percent and liquor stores 21 percent. Convenience stores only provided 7 percent, with temporary licenses providing 2 percent of revenues. Forty-six percent of revenues are from operations based in the city of Cumberland.

Allocations to fire departments dropped from a high of $147,605 in fiscal 2008 to $83,552 in fiscal 2011, which ended June 30.

The board of education will net $250,655, down from $442,816 in 2008. The 2008 figures are higher than typical because certain games allowed in 2008 were later declared illegal by the state.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

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